Distorted Pictures: Images of Disability in Physical Education Textbooks

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Brent HardinUniversity of Alabama

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Marie HardinPenn State University

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The purpose of this study was to examine the images of disability in general physical education textbooks. Photographs in 59 general physical education textbooks were examined via content analysis. A recording instrument was generated to categorize and analyze the textbook images. The findings indicate that general physical education textbooks do not usually include photographs of persons with disabilities, instead presenting the general physical education setting as noninclusive. Furthermore, the photographs that were included presented persons with disabilities in a stereotypical manner that generally did not encourage readers without disabilities to see their peers more realistically or persons with disabilities to see themselves more positively. The authors speculate on the role of cultural hegemony and body politics in sport as reasons for the exclusion of people with disabilities.

Brent Hardin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa 35487-0312. E-mail: bhardin@ua.edu. Marie Hardin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Penn State University.

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