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(Re-)presenting the Paralympics: Affective Nationalism and the 'able-disabled'.

Pullen, E., Jackson, D. and Silk, M., 2020. (Re-)presenting the Paralympics: Affective Nationalism and the 'able-disabled'. Communication and Sport, 8 (6), 715-737.

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C&S Paralympics manuscript final for web.pdf - Accepted Version
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Manuscript final for web.pdf - Accepted Version
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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1177/2167479519837549


The relationship between media, sport, nations and nationalism is well established, yet, there is an absence of these discussions at the intersection of communication, Paralympics and disability studies. This omission is particularly significant considering the rapid commodification of the Paralympic spectacle, exacerbated by the entry of Channel 4 (C4) as the UK Paralympic rights holders, that has seen the games become an important site of disability (re-)presentation. In this article, we focus on the construction of national, normative, disabled bodies in Paralympic representation drawn from an analysis of three integrated datasets from Channel 4’s broadcasting of the Rio 2016 Paralympics: interviews with C4 production and editorial staff; quantitative content analysis, and qualitative moving image analysis. We highlight the strategic approach taken by C4 to focus on successful medal winning athletes; the implications this has on the sports and disability classifications given media coverage; and the role of affective high-value production practices. We also reveal the commercial tensions and editorial decisions that broadcasters face with respect to which disabilities / bodies are made hyper-visible - and thereby those which are marginalized - as national disability sport icons that inculcate preferred notions of disability and the (re)imagined nation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Paralympics; Broadcasting; Disability; Nationalism; Sport; Communication
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:31925
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:04 Mar 2019 11:10
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:15


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