Luísa Anacleto

Individual doctoral project

“The Mediatization of Paralympic Sport in Portugal. Media speeches and their impact on the self-representations of Portuguese athletes at the Paralympic Games (1952-2016)”
Professor José Viegas Brás


The Paralympic Games are the biggest reference in the world of Adapted Sport, being the most important event of the international sport calendar for athletes with disabilities. Expression of a high quality spectacle, it assumes a central role in the construction of the social identities, through its dominant cultural discourses.

This research aims to identify media discourses, to understand how the paralympic movement is represented in the Portuguese Press, and to assess the impact, both in the career and life of athletes and in the image that society has about people with disabilities. In this context, considering the Paralympic athletes as the main subjects involved in the recent social and commercial transformations of the Paralympic sport, we selected a corpus of analysis based on the relationship between the media and the Paralympic sport, for the collection of information and exploratory analysis of the news about the Portuguese Paralympic athletes in the Paralympic Games between 1952 and 2016.

It is important to broaden the field of observation of the publicized news for an in-depth analysis so as to continue the study with the target population: the Portuguese Paralympic athletes. The preliminary results obtained intend to look at the development of Adapted / Paralympic Sport in Portugal as a tool to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, in personal and social life, through the media impact of Paralympic Sport, and its importance for the social inclusion of this population. Finally, the study will seek to know, reflect and discuss new ways to develop citizenship through sport. Education for citizenship guidelines aims to contribute to the formation of responsible people, autonomous, solidarity, who know and exercise their rights and duties in dialogue and in respect for others. Sport is an important context for learning and exercising citizenship, reflecting cross-cutting societal concerns, which involve different dimensions of education for citizenship, such as: education for human rights; education for gender equality; education for development; education for the media; education for health and well-being.

Keywords: Disability; Speeches; Inclusion; Paralympic Games; Media.