Disassembling and Reassembling a Sports Talent
Keywords:Talent, Talent development, Enactment, Assemblage, Affect, Micropolitics, New materialism
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.
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