Elite Athletes or Superstars? Media representation of para-athletes at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
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This article offers a discourse analysis of media representations of para athletes 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 pages16
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number5
Early online date18 Jul 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2016



  • para-sport, disability, mega-events, media, commonwealth games

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