Researching physical disability in sport: Reflections from an (able)bodied ethnographer

Brighton, J. (2015) Researching physical disability in sport: Reflections from an (able)bodied ethnographer. In: Wellard, I., ed. Researching Embodied Sport: Exploring Movement Cultures. Routledge. ISBN 9781138793446

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Abstract

Drawing on findings from a 4 year ethnographic study into disability sport, this chapter aims to provide empirical examples that hint at some of the difficulties I experienced when researching disabled athletes as an able bodied PhD student. Tales from the field trace my journey from a neophyte investigator to one who is perhaps more critically aware of “culture shock” (Agar, 1996), the intricacies of adopting alternative researcher roles, and ethical dilemmas of building rapport and inti(mate)ship with physically disabled research participants. Reflections are provided that emphasise the importance of taking embodied and reflexive approaches in attempting to interpret the corporeal experiences of disabled athletes. Although I recognise proclaiming empathy as an “impossible vanity” (Watson, 2009), suggestions are made (and discussions encouraged!) that ease some of the present tensions for those scholars who feel this form of research in exploitative (Oliver, 1998).

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0706 Sports psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0706.5 Sports sociology
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure
Depositing User: James Brighton
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2014 10:33
Last Modified: 05 May 2016 10:39
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12891

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00