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EP

Erin Pearson

Western University
Understanding Paralympic Athletes Interpretations of Paralympic Media Coverage
Understanding Paralympic Athletes Interpretations of Paralympic Media Coverage
Understanding Paralympic Athletes Interpretations of Paralympic Media Coverage
Media coverage of the Paralympic Games has a role in how elite athletes with impairment and disability sport are portrayed and perceived by the public (Rees, Robinson & Shields, 2019). Researchers within this field have largely focused attention on investigating how Paralympic athletes and disability sport are represented by media. Limited research however has investigated athletes with impairment perceptions of Paralympic media coverage. In order to understand how media coverage may be a force for positive social change regarding disability, it is essential to understand how Paralympic athletes consider representation. The purpose of this research is to therefore explore how Paralympic athletes make meaning of the discourses of disability within Paralympic media coverage. The study is informed by a Foucauldian theoretical framework drawing on his notions of discourse and technologies of the self. Semi-structured, photo-elicitation interviews will be conducted with Paralympic athletes who have been featured in online media articles since the 2012 Paralympic Games. Knowledge from the research will offer media personnel an informed understanding of how Paralympic athletes interpret representations of disability and disability sport. This subsequently may offer insight and inform future approaches of media coverage of disability sport and the Paralympic Games.