Who is the student athlete? Focusing on positioning in the campus unrest period in Japan

Yuta Ono*, Masanori Kaji, Hidenori Tomozoe, Takeshi Yoshinaga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study aims to clarify the process by which student athletes in Japan were socially classified during the period of campus unrest. To this end, a constructionist discourse analysis was conducted using newspaper and magazine articles, as well as materials published by the Japanese Ministry of Education. This analysis revealed two key factors in this social construction process: first, there was public concern regarding the thuggery exhibited by student athletes during the campus unrest period; second, there was public concern regarding the semi-professionalisation of student athletes during the subsequent university reforms. These factors engendered the perception of student athletes as thuggish and disinterested in their studies, which in turn negatively affected the activities and organisational structures of varsity teams. Eventually, this perception prompted student athletes to be dubbed ‘sport council types’ (taiikukai-kei), solidifying their social classification as a special category distinct from regular students.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSport in Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


  • Amateur Sports
  • Higher Education
  • Sports Recommendations
  • Student Athlete
  • Taiikukai-kei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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