1st Edition

Sport and the Female Disabled Body

By Elisabet Apelmo Copyright 2017
    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    166 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This path-breaking book analyses the experiences of young sporting women with physical impairments. Taking phenomenology as a point of departure, Elisabet Apelmo explores how the young women handle living with a body which, on the one hand, is viewed as deviant – the disabled body – and on the other hand is viewed as accomplished – the sporting body. A polarization is apparent between the weak, which is manifested through the expression of belonging as "we", and the strong individual. The subject position as strong, positive and capable – as a reaction towards the weak, the negative – is one of the few positions that are available to them. Furthermore, the book demonstrates the strategies of resistance the young women develop against the marginalisation, stereotyping and othering they experience in their everyday lives.

    Finally, the author discusses the paradox of gender. Disabled bodies are often seen as non-gendered, however, these young women’s experiences are structured by both the gender regimes within sports and the larger gender order of the society.

    1. Introduction 

    2. Theoretical Framework and Methodological Considerations 

    3. ‘I Am Just Like Everyone Else’ 

    4. Bodily Experiences  

    5. Technology, Gender and the Body 

    6. Sporting Bodies and Gender 

    7. Final Discussion


    Elisabet Apelmo is Lecturer in the Department of Social Work at Malmö University, Sweden. She is a visual artist with a PhD in Sociology.

    'This book applies phenomenology to a much understudied area—that of women with disabilities in sport. The book interrogates the role that gender plays across political, social and sporting domains while also deepening our understanding of the physicality of the human body and insights into the feminist mind.' - Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Vanderbilt University, U.S.A and Two-time U.S. Paralympian

    ‘What a gem! The book offers an evocative and theoretically insightful account of sporting women and disability. The content covered is expansive, topical, and clear. Riveting to read, brimming with rich qualitative data and ideas, it fills an important void in the field.’ - Brett Smith, University of Birmingham, UK