Elite athletes or superstars? Media representation of para-athletes at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Gayle McPherson, Hugh O'Donnell, David McGillivray, Laura Misener

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This article offers a discourse analysis of media representations of paraathletes
before, during and post the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth
Games in print and online sources, drawing on the lens of critical
disability theory. We consider the importance of the media–sport
cultural complex in influencing public attitudes towards disability.
We conclude that whilst the importance of discursive change cannot
be underestimated at the level of the media agenda, change at the
level of lived experience will only flow from carefully designed and
executed political and policy initiatives rather than directly from
changes in the media presentation or visibility of individual athletes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-675
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number5
Early online date18 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • para-sport;
  • commonwealth games
  • disability
  • mega-events

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