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Title: Sports spectacle, media and doping: The representations of Olympic drug cases in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008
Authors: Pappa, Evdokia
Advisors: Kennedy, E
Hills, L
Pussard, H
Keywords: Moral panic;Moral regulation;Newspapers;Discourse analysis;Governmentality
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University School of Sport and Education PhD Theses
Abstract: This thesis explores the depiction of doping in the press. My interest in the topic stemmed from an early personal experience in competitive athletics where I was exposed to an in-sports reality that tolerated the use of performance-enhancing substances. However, references to doping in the media appeared to depict it in a different way. In order to investigate the divergence, the thesis analysed the reporting of two Olympic Games, namely Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. It focused on empirical data and thus all articles that referenced doping were collected one month prior, during and one month after the two Olympic Games. In total 1274 articles were collected and analysed. Adopting a post-structuralist approach, the discourse analysis of the data leads to the identification of journalistic techniques that constructed discursive statements of doping. It was observed that first of all, in the case of highly publicised drug cases, these statements could be understood as constructing a moral panic episode. Secondly, the same discursive statements were circulated in the press even in the absence of positive doping samples. The thesis draws on the theories of moral regulation and governmentality to make sense of the constant presence of doping discursive statements in the press. It argues that inducting doping into sport spectacle makes its depiction seem apolitical and disconnected from society. However, in-depth theorisation of the phenomenon shows that its mediated construction plays an active role in influencing public policy.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Sport
Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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