The Social Construction of 'Mental Toughness': A Fascistoid Ideology?

Caddick, Nick D and Ryall, Emily S ORCID: 0000-0002-6050-4353 (2012) The Social Construction of 'Mental Toughness': A Fascistoid Ideology? Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 39 (1). pp. 137-154. doi:10.1080/00948705.2012.675068

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This article considers the social construction of mental toughness in line with prevailing social attitudes towards success and dominance in elite sport. Critical attention is drawn to the research literature which has sought to conceptualise mental toughness and the idealistic rhetoric and metaphor with which it has done so. The concept of mental toughness currently reflects an elitist ideal, constructed along the lines of the romantic narrative of the ‘Hollywood hero’ athlete. In contrast, the mental and moral virtues which should form the basis of mental toughness are often neglected when an athlete ‘fails’. Currently, mental toughness exists as a characteristic used to describe successful athletes and is only applied in hindsight. Finally, we recommend that the morally problematic association of mental toughness (within the media, society, and the research community) with ultimate success needs to be removed in order to rescue the concept from the elitist discourses which currently surround and suffocate it.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Emily Ryall
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:25
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:10

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