Visual Impairment, Sport and Somatic Work: The Auditory Experiences of Blind and Partially Sighted Cricket Players

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    Abstract

    This article explores the auditory experiences of a group of visually impaired elite sportsmen and how their sporting participation provides an alternative way of being in team sport. Here the focus is upon the constructed auditory structure of visually impaired cricket and how this vast, featureless sporting space is endowed with social value. Unlike previous research into the spatial experiences of relatively stable environments, this article is the first to detail how visually impaired people conceptualise and negotiate such a dynamic and fluid space. Drawing upon the concepts of somatic work (Vannini et al 2012), and auditory knowledge (Rice 2010), this article establishes the participants’ rich sensuous experiences of this physical activity and how their negotiation of the dynamic sporting environment, through the active creation of unique sense-making strategies, subverts the dominant ocularcentric notion of the sporting body. Rather than blindness being reduced to a state of deficit, visually impaired cricket provides an embodied platform to celebrate the participants’ multifarious capabilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-162
    JournalSenses and Society
    Volume15
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2018

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