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Durham e-Theses
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Disability sport and activism in South Korea

CHOI, INHYANG (2020) Disability sport and activism in South Korea. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Disability sports can be a powerful platform for activism because disabled elite athletes have the platform to potentially to highlight injustice both within and outside sports. This was recently stressed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) through their 2019-2022 strategic policy plan to promote disability activism through disability sports contexts. However, there are no studies that directly examine who―from the disabled non-athlete and elite athlete communities―actually engages in activism the most. In addition, most studies have paid exclusive attention to disabled elite athlete activism as the sole example of disability activism in the disability sports context in Western counties. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore disabled sports and activism in South Korea. A sequential mixed-method design was used to meet the aim. First, activism orientation was measured amongst elite disabled athletes (n =100) and the results compared with results from recreational athletes (n = 100) and non-athletes (n = 200). The quantitative analysis revealed that elite athletes were more willing to engage in activism than recreational athletes and non-athletes. Second, 18 elite athletes, 15 recreational athletes, 12 non-athletes and four NPC members were interviewed to explore the types of activism that can enable social missions to be achieved, and the reasons why (motivators) they engaged in activism and why they were reluctant to do so (barriers). The narrative analysis revealed a diverse range of activisms (e.g., sports-based, political, social, economic, scholarly, online). Thematic analysis showed that compared to non-athletes and recreational athletes, elite athletes are better positioned to speak out for social change. These findings enrich the understanding of disability sports activism through the lens of cultural sport psychology and sociology. Finally, the thesis concludes with methodological, theoretical and practical implications of the research, by emphasising how disabled sports can be supported in their social missions.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Sport and Exercise Sciences, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Oct 2020 11:58

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