A Critical Examination of Women with Acquired Physical [dis]abilities: Reclaiming a Sense of Community Belonging Through Physically Active Leisure
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Using a feminist social constructivist lens, the purpose of this study was to understand the physically active leisure meanings and experiences of women with acquired physical [dis]abilities. Specifically, it aimed to critically examine how women with acquired physical [dis]abilities negotiate, resist and/or become empowered through physically active leisure within the community context. A grounded theory approach was used and a purposive sample of eight women, between the ages of 27-45, participated in this study. Three major themes emerged that best reflect my interpretation of the participants’ experiences: 1) The Essentiality of Physically Active Leisure to Negotiating Her Changing Health Considerations, 2) Confronting the Stigmatizing Gaze as a Woman with an Acquired Physical [dis]ability, and 3) Building Agency and Sense of Connection in the Community. Moreover, the major themes resulted in the culmination of experiences leading to the core theme: Reclaiming a Sense of Community Belonging Through Physically Active Leisure. This study highlights the opportunity for women with acquired physical [dis]abilities to re-engage with physically active leisure and develop a sense of belonging within both [dis]ability specific and mainstream community spaces.