The socialization process for women with physical disabilities: The impact of agents and agencies in the introduction to an elite sport

Jennifer L. Ruddell, Kimberly J. Shinew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The sources of people's leisure interests have been a topic of interest for many years. Many of the attitudes people develop towards leisure are the result of social learning and social agents. However, the leisure socialization process can be different for people with disabilities in that many of their social agents may be unaware of the leisure opportunities available to those with disabilities. The purpose of the study was to examine the socialization process of women with physical disabilities into elite wheelchair basketball. The study was guided by the social learning paradigm (Kenyon & McPherson, 1973). Face-to-face interviews were conducted with women who were members of the USA National Wheelchair Basketball Team. Major themes found in the research included that multiple agents can be influential in the socialization process, peers with disabilities are often considered important socializing agents, and agents and agencies often coexist in socializing roles. Another noteworthy finding was that many of the women indicated their social agents' unfamiliarity with disability sports, and the ramifications this had on their lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-444
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Keywords

  • Disability sport
  • Leisure
  • Socialization
  • Wheekhair basketball
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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