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Disassembling and Reassembling a Sports Talent

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This article is rooted in an understanding of talent as something you do rather than something you either are or have. Talent is hereby seen as a phenomenon that comes into being through actions, rather than as an individualized, inherent capacity. Our perspective is informed by new materialist concepts that analyse talent development as an assemblage. Based on a case study focusing on Jamie, an injured badminton player, we argue that talent development produces a number of affects: it translates potential into a singular talent; it enables the conversion of talent into expertise; it turns doubt into belief; and it impedes other ways of coming into being for the athlete under development. The study provides insight into the micropolitics of talent development and into the ontological, pedagogical and ethical implications for the athlete and all the other actors entangled in a talent assemblage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalCulture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research
Pages (from-to)311-331
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Talent Enactment, Talent development, Assemblage, Affect, Micropolitics, New materialism, Agential Realism-New Materialism, Talent

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