The BU-led, AHRC-funded project on the cultural legacy of the Paralympics is entering its final few months; a busy period involving impact visits to multiple stakeholders, the completion of the project documentary and exhibition, and the development of academic papers.
The latest academic output (written by Emma Pullen, Dan Jackson and Michael Silk) is published in Communication & Sport this week, titled (Re-)presenting the Paralympics: Affective Nationalism and the “Able-Disabled”. The paper is based on an analysis of three integrated data sets from Channel 4’s broadcasting of the Rio 2016 Paralympics: interviews with Channel 4 production and editorial staff, quantitative content analysis, and qualitative moving image analysis. It is an in-depth analysis of the tensions that emerge between nationalism – as a commercial logic of sports mega-event broadcasting – and progressive disability representation.
We are indebted to the two BU student research assistants that worked with us through the SRA scheme on the quantitative content analysis: Jack Beaunier and Bethany Crawford. As well as contributing to this scholarly publication, their work will also form an important part of the report we will present to Channel 4, Paralympics GB, and UK Sport later this Spring.