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'It’s not about disability, I want to win as many medals as possible': The social construction of disability in high-performance coaching

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journal contribution
posted on 19.10.2018, 11:13 by Robert C. Townsend, Tabo Huntley, Christopher CushionChristopher Cushion, Hayley F. Fitzgerald
This article draws on the theoretical concepts of Pierre Bourdieu to provide a critical analysis of the social construction of disability in high-performance sport coaching. Data were generated using a qualitative cross-case comparative methodology, comprising 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in high-performance disability sport, and interviews with coaches and athletes from a cross-section of Paralympic sports. We discuss how in both cases ‘disability’ was assimilated into the ‘performance logic’ of the sporting field as a means of maximising symbolic capital. Furthermore, coaches were socialised into a prevailing legitimate culture in elite disability sport that was reflective of ableist, performance-focused and normative ideologies about disability. In this article we unpack the assumptions that underpin coaching in disability sport, and by extension use sport as a lens to problematise the construction of disability in specific social formations across coaching cultures. In so doing, we raise critical questions about the interrelation of disability and sport.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

International Review for the Sociology of Sport

Volume

55

Issue

3

Pages

344-360

Citation

TOWNSEND, R.C. ... et al, 2018. 'It’s not about disability, I want to win as many medals as possible': The social construction of disability in high-performance coaching. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 55(3), pp. 344-360.

Publisher

SAGE Publications © The Authors

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This 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/

Acceptance date

08/08/2018

Publication date

2018-09-09

Notes

This paper was published in the journal International Review for the Sociology of Sport and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690218797526.

ISSN

1012-6902

eISSN

1461-7218

Language

en