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"When do I get to run on with the magic sponge?": the twin illusions of meritocracy and democracy in the professions of sports medicine and physiotherapy

McEwan, Islay M. and Taylor, Bill (2010) "When do I get to run on with the magic sponge?": the twin illusions of meritocracy and democracy in the professions of sports medicine and physiotherapy. ISSN 1939-845X

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Abstract

In this paper, we consider the experiences of healthcare professionals involved in sports medicine in the UK. We are concerned with the inter- and intra-professional relationships found between groups such as medical practitioners and physiotherapists. Drawing on interview data gleaned from doctors, physiotherapists and academics working within sports medicine and education, we provide a Bourdieusian reading of the experiences and professional lives of individuals involved in elite sports medicine provision. Findings suggest that sports medicine practitioners are subject to relationships of power, resistance and compliance. This highlights the shifting landscape of professional emplotments at a time when elite sports medicine in the UK is being foregrounded as a prerequisite to performance excellence.

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