Smith, Brett and Sparkes, Andrew C. (2002) Men, Sport and Spinal Cord Injury: A Brief Commentary on Identity Dilemmas, Time, and the Narrative Construction of Coherence. In: Narrative, Memory and Life Transitions. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 145-153.

The purpose of this chapter is to present a brief overview of findings to date
from a research project that focuses on the lived experiences of men in the
United Kingdom who have experienced spinal cord injury (SCI) through
playing rugby football union. Three fundamental themes to emerge from the
data that underpin the SCI experience are discussed. First, drawing on a
number of analytical concepts provided by others (eg. Charmaz, 1987; Frank,
1995; Gerschick and Miller, 1995; Leder, 1990), the narrative identity
dilemmas associated with interrupted body projects for sporting men are
highlighted. Second, biographical data are utilised to illustrate the ways in
which time is framed and constructed within the restitution narrative as defined
by Frank (1995). Third, utilising the principles advocated by Gubrium and
Holstein (1998), we explore the manner in which coherence is constructed in
one of the narratives told.
The methodology underpinning this project has been described in detail
elsewhere (see Sparkes, 1998; Sparkes and Smith, 1999, in-press). However,
several points are worth mentioning. The chapter is derived from data collected
on fourteen Caucasian men who have all been heavily involved in rugby
football union, and each has experienced a SCI through playing this aggressive
contact sport. All were involved in confidential, thematic, informal, life history
interviews conducted in their homes by Brett Smith. All interviews were taperecorded,
transcribed, and analysed reflexively, utilising multiple types of
narrative analysis (see Lieblich, Tuval-Maschiach and Zilber, 1998; Sparkes,

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