ERIC Number: EJ975664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Paralympic Athletes and "Knowing Disability"
International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, v59 n3 p243-255 2012
This article explores non-disabled young people's understandings of Paralympic athletes and the disability sports they play. The article examines how society has come to know disability by discussing medical and social model views of disability. The conceptual tools offered by Pierre Bourdieu are utilised as a means of understanding the nature and value of capital afforded to Paralympic athletes and disability sports. Data were generated using interactive focus group discussions with four groups of non-disabled young people from one secondary school in England. The main themes emerging from these data include: different, impaired bodies ("Honestly my gut reaction is yuck, yuck"); legitimising and valuing disability sports ("It's not a normal sport"); and experiencing (un)valued disability sports ("I'd love to do it"). In concluding, I argue that whilst the 2012 Paralympics offers one vehicle for sporting excellence to be publicly acknowledged and celebrated, sustained efforts beyond this mega-event are needed if athletes with disabilities are to secure parity of status with athletes without disabilities.
Descriptors: Focus Groups, Athletes, Physical Disabilities, Young Adults, Foreign Countries, Competition, Attitudes toward Disabilities, Social Attitudes, Social Capital, Athletics, Secondary School Students, Human Body, Normalization (Disabilities), Student Attitudes, Attitude Measures
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)