chapter  17
9 Pages

Families, disability and sport

ByHayley Fitzgerald

This chapter centralizes the insights of three disabled boys and explore the interrelationships between family, disability and sport. It explains how Bourdieu's conceptual tools can be effectively used to explore the embodied identities of young disabled people within the family. Historically, disability has been understood in a number of ways, reflecting different social, cultural and political norms within society. While there are varied definitions and understandings of disability, two key models dominate; these are known as the medical model and the social model of disability. The medical model focuses on the individual with the impairment and centralizes deficiency and abnormality. Marcel Mauss's notion of techniques of the body was deployed explicitly to challenge the idea that activities such as walking, marching, swimming and climbing were merely biomechanical. Habitus is, in Bourdieu's work, a central concept used as a means to bridge the relationship between agents and their social worlds.