Reconceptualizing Inclusion: The Politics of University Sports and Recreation Programs for Students with Mobility Impairments

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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In this essay, we explore and expand the meaning of “inclusion,” as it relates specifically to the sports and recreation programs that are made available to students with mobility impairments enrolled at colleges and universities. In the first part of the essay we examine how the two disciplinary areas of disability sport and disability studies address the politics of inclusion. In the second section of the paper, we will use one public university. South State (a pseudonym), as an example to demonstrate how certain social institutions interpret the concept of inclusion. Finally, we expand this discussion to offer an alternative theorization of the concept of inclusion that will impact not only students with disabilities but also students marked by race, class, gender, and sexuality who are also excluded despite the university’s espousal of the popular rhetoric of “inclusion.”

The authors are with the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology at Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5221.

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