Disability, sport and men's narratives of health: a qualitative study

2014-07-28T10:33:47Z (GMT) by Brett Smith
Objective: Very little research has been conducted that examines men, sport, masculinities, and disability in the context of health. Readdressing this absence, this article examines the health narratives told by spinal injured men and the work narratives do on, in, and for them. Methods: In-depth life history interviews and fieldwork observations with men (n = 17) who sustained a spinal injury through playing sport and are now disabled were conducted. Qualitative data were analyzed using a dialogical narrative analysis. Results: Stories told about health characterized a style of embodied actions choices that anticipated a certain type of narrative, that is, an emergent narrative. The men's narrative habitus, fashioned through the process rehabilitation, predisposed them to be interpellated to care about health. To uphold hegemonic masculinities the men also did not care too much about health. The analysis also reveals the work narratives do on, in, and for health behavior, masculine identities, resilience, leisure time physical activity, and body-self relationships. Implications for health promotion work are highlighted. Conclusions: The article advances knowledge by revealing the emergent narrative of health. It reveals too for the first time the way certain contexts and masculine identities create a new subject of health that cares about doing health work, but not too much. Building on the theoretical knowledge advanced here, this article contributes to practical understandings of men's health and disability by highlighting the potential of narrative for changing human lives and behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)