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.
'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
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
Disability studies has made great strides in exploring power and the body. This series extends the interdisciplinary dialogue between disability studies and other fields by asking how disability studies can influence a particular field. It will show how a deep engagement with disability studies changes our understanding of the following fields: sociology, literary studies, gender studies, bioethics, social work, law, education, or history. This ground-breaking series identifies both the practical and theoretical implications of such an interdisciplinary dialogue and challenges people in disability studies as well as other disciplinary fields to critically reflect on their professional praxis in terms of theory, practice, and methods.
Series editor: Mark Sherry, The University of Toledo, USA