Fitzgerald Building, 150 College Street, Room 139
  • March 21, 2018 from 4:10pm to 5:30pm

Speaker: Michael Atkinson, PhD, Professor, Co-Editor, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise, and Health, Director, Pain, Suffering, and Ethics Lab, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto

This talk addresses how young people living with ‘hidden disabilities’, in this case epilepsy, not only experience the negative effects of their conditions in everyday life but are also rendered socially ill through ostracism and stigmatization in a wide range of cultural settings. In particular, I examine how young people living with this neurological condition are systematically excluded or simply overlooked as normal participants in a range of physical cultural settings like sport, physical education, and recreation and leisure cultures. Further still, I examine the role of physicians in actively encouraging members of these populations to be wary of or avoid most forms of daily physical activity. Using a form of research called narrative ethnography I seek to understand: how people living with an identified neurological condition / hidden disability fit, or not, into a range of mainstream physical cultures and the implications of such on their cultural identities; how members of hidden disability communities seek and find personal and collective meaning in their own physical cultures of choice; how the material brain is a key agent in the social construction of collective identities inside and outside of physical culture; and, if health care practitioners are pivotal in shaping patients’ perceptions of their bodily possibilities and existential realities.

This seminar is free and open to the public. No registration is required. It will also be webcast live via Adobe Connect.