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Med Humanit. 2005 Dec;31(2):81-8. doi: 10.1136/jmh.2005.000203.

When narratives matter: men, sport, and spinal cord injury.

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  • 1Qualitative Research Unit, School Sport and Health Sciences, St Luke's Campus, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, UK.


Experiencing a spinal cord injury (SCI) and becoming disabled through sport is a major disruptive life event that instigates a multiplicity of difficult and complex issues that the person has to deal with. One of these problems is how to restory a life and construct new body/self relationships and identities over time. To explore this process, we focus on the life stories of a small group of men (nā€Š=ā€Š14) who have suffered SCI and become disabled through playing rugby football. We illustrate the ways in which certain metaphors, notions of time, and kinds of hope, congregate and coalesce within three specific narrative types and how these operate to shape the individual experiences of these men following SCI. The implications of this dynamic process for the storied body/self and identity construction are highlighted throughout.

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