Applying a relational lens to ethnographic inquiry: Storied insight into the inner workings of multicultural teams in men’s elite football

Donka Darpatova-Hruzewicz , Robert T. Book Jr


Objective: To examine the impact of transnational migration on the functioning of multicultural teams in men’s elite football and to explore the cultural transition experiences of transnational players from the relational perspective of receiving football environments. Design: and Method: This 26-month ethnographic study adopted a researcher-practitioner approach to investigate two elite European football clubs during the course of two complete seasons. Over 80 male participants from 18 different countries were involved in the approximately 1200 h of field observation (e.g., practices, games, closeddoor meetings, etc.) and 50 h of transcribed interviews. Detailed field notes and interview data were thematically analyzed, followed by a narrative analysis of structure and form. Finally, the genre of ethnographic creative nonfiction was employed to present the findings. Findings: By applying a relational lens to the study of cultural transitions, this investigation illuminates the centrality of relations in the daily functioning of multicultural teams embedded in transnational networks and spaces. The complex interactional dynamic between transnational players and members of the receiving environment as well as the structural constraints shaping footballing (sub)cultures and behaviours highlight the salience of restrained agency as a collective phenomenon in elite men’s football. Moreover, the study explores the hows of cultural transition by engaging with temporality and proposing a complementary perspective that extends current understandings in the narration of cultural transition experiences. Conclusions: The findings carry applied utility that can benefit stakeholders and practitioners working with culturally diverse teams in the deployment of culturally informed club management strategy, educational tools, and interventions.
Author Donka Darpatova-Hruzewicz (Wydział Psychologii w Warszawie)
Donka Darpatova-Hruzewicz,,
- Wydział Psychologii w Warszawie
, Robert T. Book Jr
Robert T. Book Jr,,
Journal seriesPsychology of Sport and Exercise, ISSN 1469-0292, e-ISSN 1878-5476, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2021
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishCultural transitions Transnational athletes Cultural sport psychology Creative non-fiction Narrative inquiry Organizational culture
ASJC Classification3202 Applied Psychology
Languageen angielski
Applying a relational lens to ethnographic inquiry.pdf 485.36 KB
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osw_applying.pdf 35.41 KB
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.75; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 2.71 (2) - 2018=3.662 (5)
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