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Title: "You don't have to see it to tee it" : an exploration of socio-spatial practices in blind golf
Author: McEwan, Shonagh
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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Examining emerging themes from the data, the thesis discusses personal and organisational journeys into blind golf. The impact of less tangible barriers, particularly disabling attitudes, on the player’s experiences of access to, and sense of inclusion in, golf are explored. I argue that barriers are embedded in the ‘everyday’ encounters in the golfing landscape between blind and sighted people. Although the golfers have accessed their chosen sport, this participation remains an unequal and disabling experience. The thesis moves from considerations of the golfers’ relationships with (sighted) others predominantly out with blind golf, to the inter-personal relationships between players (blind golfer) and their guide (sighted person). The need for a guide raises key issues connected to disability and feminist debates surrounding the social relations of help. I focus on the way in which help is given and experienced from the perspectives of the player. The thesis then considers the processes through which identities as ‘blind golfers’ take shape within the spaces of blind golf. It demonstrates how the golfers actively mediate their own identities and relationships in blind golf. Identifying, or being identified, as a ‘blind golfer’ is not intrinsically negative yet can be fraught with contradictions. I therefore argue for a more nuanced understanding of blind identities. In conclusion, the thesis suggests that examining subjective experiences of disability allows perspectives on disability to shift from socio-spatial structures to socio-spatial practices. This approach greatly enriches discussion of processes of inclusion and exclusion in relation to disability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available