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Exclusion, positive identities and tricksters: perspectives from members of a wheelchair sports club

Humphries, Pat (2011) Exclusion, positive identities and tricksters: perspectives from members of a wheelchair sports club. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Using a concept driven narrative enquiry the objective of this study was to gain an insight into young wheelchair user’s experiences and understanding of disability and normalcy. In line with the affirmation model of disability, this research looked for positive experiences, which reject the normalising discourses of disabled identities following a constructivist position and guided by a critical realist perspective. This work follows on from Ryan and Runswick-Cole (2008) and others, who use the narratives of parents of disabled children to indicate how such parents question concepts of normalcy. Also, research by Singh and Ghai (2009), and Traustadóttir (2009), which reflects the lived reality of children and youths with disabilities. This research recognises the importance of representing voices and experiences particularly in the planning and implementation of policy and service provision. Participants were a purposeful sample of young wheelchair users aged 12-20, N=3 and a snowball sample of adult wheelchair users, N=4, all members of a wheelchair sports club. One of the younger participants acted as a co-researcher and collected narratives from other participants. A thematic analysis identified three broad themes: examples of everyday exclusion, a collective positive disabled identity and tricksters: examples of reactions against nominative discourses.

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