This assignment is divided into two parts. Part 1 assesses your knowledge and application of research and theory relating to career transitions in sport. Part 2 continues the research methods theme established in the previous TMAs and asks you to consider written narrative as a research instrument in career transitions research, and to compare it with other research instruments.
Task Part 1 (2000 words/ 70 marks) For this part of the TMA you are required to read the journal article entitled ‘A lifespan perspective on transitions during a top sports career: a case of an elite female fencer’ (Debois et al., 2012), which you were introduced to in Unit 23, and link it to some of the concepts, models and themes described in Study Topic 5 by answering the essay question below. Drawing on relevant concepts, research and models discussed in Study Topic 5, write a 2000-word essay critically evaluating Francine’s experiences of transition during her athletic career. You should refer to the guidance notes for more detail on what your essay should cover. Part 2 (1000 words/ 30 marks) In Study Topic 5 (Unit 24, Activity 24.5) you were introduced to the written narrative as a research instrument in career transitions research. In the previous TMAs you have evaluated the use of four other research instruments used in sport and exercise psychology research: individual interviews, focus group interviews, questionnaires and observation. For this part of the TMA you should write 1000 words comparing and contrasting written narrative with focus group interviews and observation. Guidance Part 1 The article (Debois et al., 2012) is discussed in Units 23 and 24, Activities 23.4, 23.7 and 24.3 in Study Topic 5 and thus you may find it useful to revisit these activities. In writing your essay you will be expected to draw upon content from the whole of Study Topic 5, not just Unit 23. There is a range of topic areas you could draw upon to successfully answer the question, but as a guide, a good answer will be expected to: Identify some of the key career transitions experienced by the athlete in the article (Francine) and the potential psychological impact they might have had. You should aim to identify 3–5 transitions. Apply and critically evaluate at least one model of career transition to at least one of the career transitions experienced by Francine. Models of career transition in sport are discussed in Unit 21. You will find it particularly useful to look at Activity 21.3 and Section 21.3.1 of this unit. Discuss Francine’s career in relation to Wylleman and Lavallee’s (2004) developmental model, discussed in Unit 23. (You will find Activities 23.2, 23.3 and 24.4 particularly useful.) Use a range of supporting references. Part 2 To help you complete this task you should revisit Unit 24, Activity 24.5, which evaluates a journal article that uses a written narrative. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of using written narrative as a research instrument. (You should consider the following questions: What information does this instrument provide? Are there particular instances where the written narrative would be particularly advantageous or disadvantageous?). Then analyse the strengths and weaknesses of focus groups and observation in relation to written narrative. You may find it useful to refer to the ‘Research instruments’ section of Chapter 2 of the Module Reader, ‘Making sense of research methods’, Unit 2, Section 2.6 of Study Topic 1 (particularly Activity 2.8 and the associated readings from Research Methods for Sports Studies).
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