International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Full Length Research Paper

Beyond disability and ethnicity challenges: Narrative of a Paralympian

Anaurene Roy
Department of Sport Sciences, Faculty of Sport and Health Science, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 September 2011
  •  Published: 30 November 2011



This study reports a narrative which highlights the cultural influences over sporting experiences and focuses on the challenges in overcoming the barriers. The narrative provides a synopsis of the dynamics of ethnicity, culture and athleticism of an Islamic woman from the Islamic state of Malaysia. With an unstructured interview, the narrative was acquired and analyzed using Foucauldian discourse analysis in conjuncture to feminist poststructuralist theory. The results indicated the athlete to have experienced insensitive attitudes of people towards her participation in a strength sport like powerlifting. The analysis also revealed that the Paralympian was also subjected to the initial disagreement toward her participation in sports owing to her physical condition and womanhood. This study describes the pathway of successfully overcoming the challenges to compete in major sporting events.


Key words: Powerlifting, ethnicity, culture, disability, Foucault, Islamic women.