Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


College athletes -- Social life and customs, College athletes -- Attitudes, College athletes -- Psychology


Student-athletes live complex lives because they are expected to maintain a number of master statuses. According to Goffman (1959), individuals perform in frontstage. However, other scholars, building from Goffman, state that this is more complex than this. The backstage also has performance elements in it. These regions for student-athletes can become complicated because they have to manage their impressions depending on their social situation. I conducted 18 in-depth, semi-structured interviews to explore the presentation of self in the everyday lives of collegiate level student athletes. Myths abound surrounding college athletes, such that athletes are surrounded with limitless opportunities, or that they receive special treatment from both the institutions for which they play, as well as public supporters. Despite the opportunities that exist for some athletes, most athletes actually pay significant costs in their educational and personal lives. Many sacrifice building career skills through educational pursuits and maintaining a social life in light of a supposed ideal lifestyle and their position as "lower status" sports within the sports hierarchy.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Marybeth C. Stalp, Chair


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 116 leaves ; 28 cm)



File Format


Included in

Sociology Commons