1st Edition

Moral Panic in Physical Education and Coaching

Edited By Heather Piper, Dean Garratt, Bill Taylor Copyright 2015
    154 Pages
    by Routledge

    154 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on sports coaching and sports teaching and how touching young sports participants has been redefined as dubious and dangerous. Coaches are constrained by a framework of regulations and guidelines which create anxiety, and many coaches now question the risks and benefits of their continuing involvement. The book includes some data from a recently completed ESRC project: (‘Hands-off’ sports coaching: the politics of touch) and builds on previous ESRC research (Touchlines – the problematic of touching between children and professionals) which illuminated tensions in touching behaviours between professionals and children in education and care settings. It considers the negative effects of particular understandings of risk and moral panic around touching and related behaviours where adults, children and young people interact, and makes a significant contribution to critical discussions around related practice, pedagogy, politics, and policy. While focussed on sports coaching and teaching, it is germane to the situation of all those acting in loco parentis.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Sport Education and Society.

    1. Hands off! The practice and politics of touch in physical education and sports coaching Heather Piper, Dean Garratt and Bill Taylor

    2. Child abuse, child protection, and defensive ‘touch’ in PE teaching and sports coaching Heather Piper, Dean Garratt and Bill Taylor

    3. The Australian situation: not so touchy? Catherine Scott

    4. ‘Safeguarding’ sports coaching: Foucault, genealogy and critique Dean Garratt, Heather Piper and Bill Taylor

    5. Contesting contained bodily coaching experiences Richard Johnson

    6. Coaching, caring and the politics of touch: a visual exploration Robyn L. Jones, Jake Bailey and Sofia Santos

    7. Handling pressures: analysing touch in American films about youth sport Nicholas Chare

    8. Coach-athlete sexual relationships: if no means no does yes mean yes? Susanne Johansson

    9. Touching practice and physical education: deconstruction of a contemporary moral panic Simon Fletcher


    Dr Heather Piper is a Professorial Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. She has co-authored and edited a number of special issues and books (including Don’t Touch! the educational story of a panic and Researching Sex and Lies in the Classroom: Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in Schools (both published by Routledge) and has published widely elsewhere. Her ‘voice’ in research practice and academic writing is typified by a contrarian approach, a broad based and eclectic intellectual territory in sociology, philosophy, social policy, and a sensitivity to inter-professional practice informed both by practical experience and her concern with social justice.

    Dr Dean Garratt is Professor in Education at the University of Chester, UK. His interests span a wide range of issues informed by a critical perspective and commitment to social justice. A key focus is on issues around citizenship education and implications for social and education policy. His current interest lies in emerging notions of professionalism, including that of sports coaching, and the formation of identities among learners and academics in Higher Education. This substantive focus is coupled with a long-standing interest in research methodologies and their underpinning philosophies.

    Dr Bill Taylor is Head of postgraduate taught provision in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. His doctoral research centred on the shifting landscape of professionalism in sports coaching and he has published in the area. More recently he was the main researcher for the ESRC project referred to throughout in the book.