Wagging the dog - ethnography final.pdf (88.41 kB)
The tail is wagging the dog: body culture, classification and the paralympic movement
journal contributionposted on 2014-09-26, 13:35 authored by David Howe
The rules and regulations regarding the classification process through which athletes must be vetted to determine eligibility for Paralympic competition have been transformed drastically over the last two decades. A complex classification system initially developed by the International Organizations of Sport for the Disabled (IOSD) has been the distinctive feature of the Paralympic movement over this period. Key consideration must be given to the equitable nature of any classification system imposed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in order to comply with the ideology of Paralympism. Paralympism is manifest in the dictum of the Paralympic movement: ‘empower, inspire and achieve’. Using ethnographic data obtained by the author while a Paralympic athlete and journalist, this article explores recent debates within the sport of athletics surrounding classification. This is achieved by highlighting the process of classification and how, as a result of this process, some bodies are celebrated and others are not within a sporting culture established as a ghetto for imperfection.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Pages499 - 517 (19)
CitationHOWE, P.D., 2008. The tail is wagging the dog: body culture, classification and the paralympic movement. Ethnography, 9 (4), pp.499-517.
Publisher© 2008 SAGE Publications
- SMUR (Submitted Manuscript Under Review)
Publisher statementThis work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
NotesThis article was published in the journal, Ethnography [© SAGE Publications] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1466138108096989