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Affective Labor Power in Sport Management

Title: Affective Labor Power in Sport Management: A Political Economic Analysis of Internships in the Sports Industry.

Inaccessible until Sep 1, 2020 due to copyright restrictions.

Name(s): Hawzen, Matthew G., author
Newman, Joshua I., 1976-, professor directing dissertation
Giardina, Michael D., 1976-, committee member
Xue, Hanhan, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Sport Management, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (280 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Internships are an integral part of the job-training regimen for college students in the United States today. The prevalence of internships in higher education and the U.S. economy is often justified by the compelling idea that internships provide mutual value to universities, students, and employers (Becker, 1962; Coco, 2000). The internship system, however, has become the subject of litigation in court, politicized as a regime of wage theft, and critiqued for its contribution to the widening gulf between rich and poor in the United States (Perlin, 2011b). It is within this context that internships have become a core component of the academic field of sport management. Sport management has used internships as a preparatory practice since its inception in the late 1960s. Founded on the idea of training a managerial class of workers for the sports industry, sport management has grown from one program in 1966 to over 400 today. Sport management scholars argue that such growth comes from 1) the burgeoning sports industry’s demand for a trained workforce and 2) from the more and more students who want to enroll in the degree programs (Chelladurai, 2017; Masteralexis, Barr, & Hums, 2011). Despite the effective demand amongst students and the labor demand from the industry, scholars are describing the labor market as over-saturated and highly competitive (DeLuca & Braunstein-Minkove, 2016). The major consequences are an uncertain job market and suboptimal labor conditions for interns and graduates. This dissertation examines the political economy of internships within and between sport management and the sports industry and explores in this context the labor power, or productive subjectivities, of sport management majors going through the internship process. I performed in-depth semi-structured to unstructured interviews with 33 sport management majors who were at three different points in the internship process (before, during, and after). The interviews were conducted to understand the production of motivations and capacities to work in sport (or the demand for sport management); the experience of being entangled in labor market competition; the expectations for, and experiences of, interning; and the formative, and ongoing, role that sport (fandom and athletic participation) plays in the lives and labor of interns jockeying for positions in the sports industry. In my analysis, I discuss the ways in which my respondents became subjects of social reproduction between sport and capitalism and subjected to affective conditions of exploitation. I provide a critique of dominant internship orthodoxy, the function of internships in the sports industry, and the active role sport management plays in reproducing conditions of exploitation. And I illustrate how the contradictions of internships under capital give rise to passion, love, hope, and optimism as irrational yet core characteristics of the sport management workforce. After having fleshed out myriad issues with internships, I conclude with a discussion about what we can do about internships in sport management to improve the labor conditions for future interns.
Identifier: 2018_Su_Hawzen_fsu_0071E_14636 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sport Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2018.
Date of Defense: June 11, 2018.
Keywords: fandom, internships, labor, political economy, sports industry
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Joshua I. Newman, Professor Directing Dissertation; Jennifer Proffitt, University Representative; Michael D. Giardina, Committee Member; Hanhan Xue, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Sports administration
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Hawzen, M. G. (2018). Affective Labor Power in Sport Management: A Political Economic Analysis of Internships in the Sports Industry. Retrieved from