This paper illuminates the potential of diversely embodied sporting cultures to challenge ableism, the ideology of ability. Ableism constructs the able body as conditional to a life worth living, thus devaluing all those perceived as ‘dis’-abled. This hegemonic ideology develops into a ‘logic of practice’ through a cultural appropriation of body’s lived complexity, by reducing it to symbolic dichotomies (able/disabled). The path to challenge ableism is then to restore body’s complexity, by turning attention toward its lived embodied existence. Drawing upon an ethnographic study of a sitting volleyball (SV) community, we condense multiple data sources into a sensuous creative non-fiction vignette to translate the physical embodied culture of the sport. In exploring SV physicality through the ethnographic vignette, it is our intention to activate the readers’ own embodiment when interpreting and co-creating this text. By placing the reader in the lived reality of playing SV, we hope that the potential of this physical culture to destabilize engrained ableist premises becomes apparent. Ultimately, our goal is to promote a shift from ableism towards an appreciation and celebration of differently able bodies. This cultural shift is crucial for long lasting social empowerment for people with disabilities.
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