Athletes as ‘sites of normative intersectionality’: Critically exploring the ontology of influence in sport coaching.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External departments

  • Durham University
  • University College Dublin
  • Deakin University


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalSociology of Sport Journal
Early online date30 Dec 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Dec 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social structure remains an equivocal term in (sport) sociology. Our understandings of its constitution and role in causally influencing behavior are arguably underdeveloped. Using a critical realist approach, this paper examined how structural entities and reflexive agency combined to influence behavior in an elite youth cricket context (e.g., athletes, coaches). A methodological bricolage was used to generate data and Elder-Vass’s theorizing provided the principal heuristic device. The analysis illustrated how coaches acted on behalf of norm circles in their attempts to shape dispositions of athletes. In turn, athletes engaged in a process of dialectical iteration between reflexive deliberation and (intersectional) dispositions, which influenced their social action in this organizational context. This study holds significance for researchers and practitioners concerned with social influence.