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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.

Townsend, R, Huntley, TD, Cushion, C and Fitzgerald, H (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. ISSN 1012-6902

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1608 Sociology, 1504 Commercial Services, 2002 Cultural Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 11:06
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2018 16:17
DOI or Identification number: 10.1177/1012690218797526
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9245

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