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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies