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Coaching as a social ritual: acting on people in a liberal-individualistic society (parenting, education, mental health care)

Project description

Social coaching off the field

Some of the world's best coaches can be found off the field. They are the teachers, healthcare workers and parents who empower others to produce the changes they need themselves. This is coaching as a social ritual. The EU-funded CoachingRituals project will study this aspect of coaching. Taking a comparative and empirically grounded perspective, the project will make the coaching ritual, its language game, applications and effects, into salient analysers of how we act nowadays on other people's behaviour and emotions. There will be three levels of analysis: macro-level analysis of the transformations of the moral environment, meso-level analysis of the institutional and actors' practices, and micro-level analysis of the coaching ritual's effects. The project will also shed light on coaching-related tensions and how to resolve them.

Objective

The major goal of this project is to establish a greater understanding of the pervasive and elusive practice of coaching (empowering people so that they produce themselves the changes they need) as a ritual action which is specific to liberal-individualistic societies that support the idea of a hidden potential in each of us.

This project will focus on the ways the coaching logic transforms three specific common social activities (parenting, teaching and mental health care) that have traditionally been characterized by an asymmetry between a person in a lower position and a person in a higher position. The multiplication of coaching devices in these fields however signals a loss of legitimacy of this feature. Through a comparative and empirically-grounded perspective, we will make the coaching ritual, its language game, applications and effects, into salient analysers of how we act nowadays on other peoples’ behaviour and emotions.

We will combine three levels of analysis: the macro-level analysis of the transformations of the moral environment, the meso-level analysis of the institutional and actors’ practices and the micro-level analysis of coaching ritual’s effects. Macro-level will require an international comparison between the United Kingdom, Italy, and France/French-speaking Belgium. Meso and micro-level will focus on the last area.

The study will also combine three methods: a comparative content analysis of controversies, participant observations of coaching performances in 6 different contexts, and semi-structured interviews with around 100 participants (coaching promotors; parents, teachers, caregivers providing coaching; adolescents, students and care receivers to which this logic is applied).

By taking the coaching ritual seriously and keeping at distance celebration or criticism, this project seeks not only to produce new theoretical knowledge, but also to shed light on coaching-related tensions and raise awareness among stakeholders.

Host institution

UNIVERSITE SAINT-LOUIS-BRUXELLES ASBL
Net EU contribution
€ 1 499 686,25
Address
BOULEVARD DU JARDIN BOTANIQUE 43
1000 Bruxelles / Brussel
Belgium

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Region
Région de Bruxelles-Capitale/Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest Région de Bruxelles-Capitale/ Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest Arr. de Bruxelles-Capitale/Arr. Brussel-Hoofdstad
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
€ 1 499 686,25

Beneficiaries (1)