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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26243

Title: Challenging 'normalcy': possibilities and pitfalls of paralympic bodies
Authors: Howe, P. David
Silva, Carla
Keywords: Foucault
Sporting bodies
Cyborg technology
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © North-West University
Citation: HOWE, P.D. and SILVA, C., 2017. Challenging 'normalcy': possibilities and pitfalls of paralympic bodies. South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, 39 (1:2), pp. 189-204.
Abstract: The Paralympic Games is celebrated in the mainstream media in line with the vision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) ‘to enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.’ In this paper we explore the degree to which the flagship of parasport has acted as a catalyst for an enhanced social and cultural understanding of disabled embodiments. Drawing upon a Foucauldian conceptualisation of biopower in connection with Haraway’s articulation of the cyborg, we highlight how hybrid bodies inevitably fail to promote embodied difference because they constitute, in and of themselves, a product of ‘normalising’ technology. In the light of critiques, such as that of the sporting supercrip, we argue that the heroic glorification of Paralympic cyborgs further amplifies the inadequacy of non-cyborg disabled bodies, whose impairments cannot be ‘compensated for’ by movement technologies. Ultimately, this paper is a call to reflect upon how parasport culture can enhance its ability to deliver the empowerment ideal encapsulated within its vision.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation and the definitive published version is available at http://hdl.handle.net/10520/EJC-90ab7b263. This paper appears here with the permission of the publisher.
Version: Accepted for publication
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26243
Publisher Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10520/EJC-90ab7b263
ISSN: 0379-9069
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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