Spinal Cord Injury, Sport, and the Narrative Possibilities of Posttraumatic Growth

  • Andrew C. SparkesEmail author
  • Brett Smith
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 52)


Narratives are actors that do things in terms of shaping experience. They perform the work of subjectification informing people who they ought to be, who they might like to be, and who they can be (Frank, Health 10(4):421–440, 2006, Letting stories breathe: a socio-narratology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2010). In this chapter, we explore the ways in which the restitution and quest narratives as described by Frank (The wounded storyteller: body, illness, and ethics. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1995) work to give different meanings to the experiences of a small group of amateur sportsmen who have suffered catastrophic spinal cord injury (SCI) through playing the sport of rugby football union. As an actor, each narrative provides contrasting sets of metaphor, time tenses, and senses of hope for the narrative reconstruction of body-self relationships over time. While the restitution narrative is useful for certain purposes and sets of circumstance, our analysis suggests that the quest narrative holds the greater possibility of achieving the key features of posttraumatic growth.


Spinal Cord Injury Posttraumatic Growth Rugby Football Union Life Script Positive Life Change 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carnegie Faculty, Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and LeisureLeeds Metropolitan UniversityLeedsEngland, UK
  2. 2.School of Sport, Exercise and Health ScienceLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

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