Bend it Like Beckham

From IMDb:

A comedy about bending the rules to reach your goal, Bend It Like Beckham explores the world of women’s football, from kick-abouts in the park to freekicks in the Final. Set in Hounslow, West London and Hamburg, the film follows two 18 year-olds with their hearts set on a future in professional soccer. Heart-stopping talent doesn’t seem to be enough when your parents want you to hang up your football boots, find a nice boyfriend and learn to cook the perfect chapatti. Written by Anonymous

Of East Indian origin of the Sikh faith, the Bhamra family have been settled in Great Britain for several years. They have two daughters, Pinky and Jessminder. While Pinky is in the process of getting married, Jessminder is preparing to play football – which is not acceptable to her parents. But Jessminder knows she is good at the sport, and she does receive considerable encouragement. Her parents are clearly uncomfortable with their daughter running around in shorts, chasing a big ball, instead of being clad in a traditional salwar khameez, and learning to cook East Indian recipes. Jessminder must now decide what’s important for her. To make matters worse, a football tournament is arranged on the very day of her sister’s marriage. Will Jessminder be able to play, or will her dreams be shattered? Written by rAjOo (

Sport Psychology Topics:

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation and Cultural Studies Approach to Sport Psychology.

Text Readings:

Ch. 6

References for Paper:

Vallerand, R.J. (2004). Intrinsic motivation in sport. In,  C. Spielberger (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology (pp. 427-436, vol.2). San Diego: Academic Press. Can be downloaded here (scroll down to 2004 articles).

Complete Vallerand’s Sport Motivation Scale (SMS).  The items for each scale provide you with examples for each type of motivation:  SMS English Version.

Vallerand, R.J. (2007). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in sport and physical activity: A review and a look at the future. In G. Tenenbaum & E. Eklund (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley, pp. 59-83. (scroll down to 2007 on link above if you desire fuller explanation of Vallerand’s theory, most importantly pp.59-62 and pp. 67-69 for coach-Jessi relationship).

Gill, D., & Kamphoff, C. (2010) in J.M. Williams, J. (Ed.). Applied sport psychology, Ch. 19 – Gender & Cultural Considerations (Williams, 2010, pp. 419-432): Cultural Competence Gill & Kamphoff (2010)

Other Reading (Optional):

One article from the Athletic Insight:  Online Journal of Sport Psychology special issue one a cultural studies approach to sport psychology or (you will need to reference at least one of these articles in your paper).

Self-Assessment for Cultural CompetenceCultural Competence Checklist Personal Reflection

Paper  Description:
By analyzing  the film “Bend it Like Beckham” we are seeking to answer the questions: 1) how can we explain Jess and her friend’s motivation to play soccer (how do they differ in intrinsic and extrinsic motivation); and is her coach “culturally competent”?

Key Points:

  1. Determine where each of the two main female characters fall on Vallerand’s continuum of intrinsic to extrinsic motivation (using scenes from the film as evidence to back up your opinion).  Contrast (explain the process in detail) Jessi’s motivation to please her family with her desire to play soccer, clearly categorizing (with supporting with evidence) her motivation using Vallerand’s taxonomy.
  2. Jessi’s relationship with her coach is a complex one. Use Mageau and Vallerand’s (2003) Coach Athlete model of motivation to explain the effect of this relationship one her motivational processes (trace the path using the diagram of the model – support with at least 2-3 scenes).
  3. The film is very rich in all sorts of “cultural” concepts (gender, stereotypes, ethnicity, etc.) related to the motivation of the characters. What aspects of Jess’ culture should a sport psychologist or coach be aware of (based on a journal article(s) on Indian sport psychology) – make sure to include a brief analysis of her parents attitudes towards her participation in sport (1-2 examples backed up by scenes from the film).
  4. Find examples of the coach’s (or others) cultural competence using the continuum on p. 431 (one scene for each or at least several examples).

This paper is due as a Word document named “your name.beckham.doc” by Tuesday, December 20,  at 11:59 a.m: not more than 5 pages in length. APA format, and including a one-page outline of your paper.


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