Learning to be a professional football manager: a Bourdieusian perspective



Morrow S & Howieson B (2018) Learning to be a professional football manager: a Bourdieusian perspective. Managing Sport and Leisure, 23 (1-2), pp. 92-105.

This paper draws on the theoretical concepts of Pierre Bourdieu to provide an insight into aspirant football managers’ perceptions of what is required and valued at different stages of their desired managerial career journey. Drawing on interviews with candidates from one cohort of the SFA Pro-Licence (n=19), our evidence suggests that aspirant managers have responded to changes in field logic by adopting strategies which place increased emphasis on cultural capital in the form of engagement with educational discourse. While we find evidence of instrumentality in attitudes to education, we also find evidence which emphasises the importance of habitus as an unconscious process. Educational culture is absorbed and embodied by some aspirant managers, which enlightens their actions and encourages them to adopt empowering strategies through which they seek to transform their place in the field. The paper concludes by considering potential implications for governing bodies and clubs.

Professional football managers; football managers; Pierre Bourdieu; education

Managing Sport and Leisure: Volume 23, Issue 1-2

Publication date31/12/2018
Publication date online22/03/2018
Date accepted by journal17/01/2018
PublisherTaylor and Francis