ERIC Number: EJ799579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
Communicating in and through "Murderball": Masculinity and Disability in Wheelchair Rugby
Lindemann, Kurt; Cherney, James L.
Western Journal of Communication, v72 n2 p107-125 Apr 2008
This article investigates communicative practices surrounding wheelchair rugby, a growing sport played worldwide by people with quadriplegia. Researchers have studied extensively the practice of using sport for rehabilitation, but the role of communication in this process has been overlooked. We argue that participating in this sport is itself a communicative act challenging ableist views of disability, and that the behavior of wheelchair rugby players transforms the stigma associated with their condition via enactments of hypermasculinity. Additionally, we suggest that the sport's organizational culture operates as a space for newly quadriplegic persons to learn strategies for coping with their disability and the life changes that surround it. While we recognize the rehabilitative potential of these enactments, we note the ways the activity reifies patriarchal notions of gender and sport as well as validates traditional, often ableist norms of masculinity that complicate the social meanings of disability sport.
Descriptors: Organizational Culture, Disabilities, Coping, Assistive Technology, Masculinity, Team Sports, Communication (Thought Transfer), Rehabilitation, Role, Gender Differences, Attitudes toward Disabilities
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/default.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A