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PhD student in sociology. “Experts and uses of psychology in sport's elite making of”

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Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : lundi 17 mai 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR6025-CORDEL0-001
Workplace : NANTES
Date of publication : Monday, April 26, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Delmas Corinne
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Description of the thesis topic
Sport sociology showed how physiology of “well-made bodies” was not sufficient on its own to analyze sport's elites body making of. However, works and surveys have only rarely taken hold of “mental” dimension of performance. Many clues suggest that sociology would nevertheless have data to find interest in it by targeting psychological expertise and its uses.
In a survey carried out on “the preparation conditions of Olympic athletes selected for Rio (2016)”, two thirds of French athletes questioned declared that they used “mental trainer” services. These trainers largely escape federal framework. They are recruited by athletes themselves, clubs or specialized training centers under various statutes. Which questions the reality of practices that such an occupation covers. Who are these “new experts” and how are they recruited? How is such an occupation built? How do they work and more broadly how do we built “the mental” for sports performance? What kind of knowledge do they base their practices and their authority on?

Since 2006, the French high-level athletes regulatory monitoring provides a mandatory psychological assessment once a year. It aims "to detect psychopathological difficulties that may be linked to intensive sports practice". Such provisions are a reminder that elite sport is work which can be a source of suffering. Psychological fatigue, exhaustion, nervous breakdowns are little asked, or, when they do, they are thought about individual fragility, and rarely as resulting from athletic work. Study of psychological wear and tear linked to intense sports work would open up this field of research. When does physical labor become source of “mental suffering”? Under what conditions can this suffering take on the features of a problem to denounce? From whom and how? Who are the professionals identified to have competence in psychological monitoring and care? Are mental trainers also “caregivers”? How is tasks distribution organized between athlete's care given and the optimization of their performance?
Considering that "athlete's mental" is built in social groups, this doctoral project intends to question in an original way the actors who work for performance's production. This thesis would allow a better understanding of “mental expert's” work, who remain unknown. It would also offer opportunity to assess their participation in the athlete's attachment or disengagement to the competitive sporting project.
Four lines of work could be investigated:
1/ Define the outlines of mental trainer's professional group
2/ Carry out an interview campaign:
- With these professionals to think about their social trajectories.
- With sports workers who call on these professionals.
3/ Build an ethnographic work in a specialized training center to understand how psychological cares of athletes are organized.
4 / Think about historical processes which are constitutive of these expertise fields.

Brief bibliography.
Backouche, Isabelle (2008), « Devenir expert », Genèses, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 2-3.
Bujon, Thomas & Mougeot, Frédéric (2017), Le sport dans la douleur, de l'automédication au mental training, PUG.
Coakley Jay (1992), « Burnout among adolescent athletes: a personal failure or social problem? », Sociology of sport journal, n°9, pp. 271-285.
Collins Harry, Evans Robert (2007), Rethinking Expertise, Chicago/Londres, The University of Chicago Press.
Delalandre Matthieu (2010), « L'expertise scientifique au service de la performance sportive », Terrains et Travaux, 1, n° 17, p. 127-142.
Delmas, Corinne (2011), Sociologie politique de l'expertise, La Découverte.
Demazière Didier et Gadea Charles dir. (2009), Sociologie des groupes professionnels, La Découverte.
Eyal Gil (2019), The Crisis of Expertise, Cambridge, Polity Press.
Fleuriel, Sébastien & Schotté Manuel (2008), Sportifs en danger. La condition des travailleurs sportifs, Editions du Croquant.
Forté, Lucie (2018), « Les effets socialisateurs de la blessure : de l'érosion au renforcement des vocations athlétiques de haut niveau », Sciences sociales et sport, 12(2), 85-111.
Gallmeier, Charles (1987), « Putting on the Game Face: the staging of emotions in professional hockey », Sociology of sport journal, n°4, pp. 347-362.
Garcia, Sandrine (2014), « S'affirmer comme un professionnel compétent ? Les usages de la psychologie dans les crèches parentales par les éducatrices de jeunes enfants », Sociétés contemporaines, vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 55-80.
Guillemain, Hervé (2001), « Déments ou démons ? L'exorcisme face aux sciences psychiques (XIXe - XXe siècles) », Revue d'Histoire de l'Église de France, 87, p. 439-471.
Hochschild, Arlie Russell (2017), Le prix des sentiments. Au coeur du travail émotionnel, La Découverte.
Le Bianic, Thomas (2013), « Une profession balkanisée : les psychologues face à l'Etat en France (1945-1985) », Politix, 2, n° 102, p. 175-207.
Lévèque, Marc (2005), « Aspects éthiques et déontologiques de l'intervention auprès des sportifs », Bulletin de psychologie, vol. numéro 475, no. 1, pp. 91-95.
Rasera, Frédéric (2015), « « T'es payé pour être à disposition de… ». Dans le quotidien de travail de footballeurs professionnels », Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 209, no. 4, pp. 86-99.
Ripoll Hubert (2012), Le mental des coachs. Manager la réussite sportive, Paris, Payot.
Roger Anne (2006), « Les résistances au changement dans l'entraînement des lanceurs français », Staps, 71 (1), p. 37-51.
Salman Scarlett (2015), « Le temps des coachs? », Travail et emploi, 3 , n° 143, p. 5 - 3.
Stevens, Hélène (2008). « Quand le psychologique prend le pas sur le social pour comprendre et conduire des changements professionnels », Sociologies pratiques, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 1-11.
Viaud, Baptiste (2015), « Elle ne vaut pas un caramel ! La place des verdicts médicaux dans l'estimation de la valeur sportive », Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 209(4), 56-71.
Viaud, Baptiste & Papin, Bruno (2012), « Temps sportif, santé du champion et logique de l'urgence », Staps, 96-97(2), 9-27.

Work Context

Work Context
PhD Student will work in Nantes under supervision of the Unit director, Professor in sociology (UMR CNRS 6025 CENS, Nantes University) and a Lecturer in STAPS (UMR CNRS 6025 CENS, Nantes University).
He will achieve his thesis at Nantes Center for Sociology (CENS, UMR CNRS 6025) and will be attached to the Doctoral School “Societies, Time and Territories” (ED STT, Nantes University).

Constraints and risks

Constraints and risks
None.

Additional Information

Additional Information
The candidate must hold a master's degree in sociology or in STAPS (sports faculty). The candidate must know and master sociological survey techniques: observation, interviews and archives. His previous research objects must have touched on one of the main themes involved in this project (sport's or health's sociology; sociology of expertise / of professional groups). Through his work, the candidate must demonstrate a good ability to formulate and conduct a survey. In addition, PhD Student is expected to have a strong ability to work in autonomy as well as dynamism and intellectual curiosity.

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