African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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The rehabilitation process of an injured South African rugby player: A discourse analysis

Lourens Human, Johannes Kruger


The goal of this article is to explore the dominant, positive epistemology that describes the understanding and management of sports injury and rehabilitation, and to compare it with an alternative epistemology, namely social constructionism. A single case study was used within a qualitative research design. One male rugby player who gave consent was interviewed six times by using unstructured interview techniques to collect data regarding his rugby-related injuries. A discourse analysis was done to try and come to the understanding of the cultural discourses that informed the player's personal narratives regarding his injuries. It seemed as if different cultural discourses were ‘at play' with the various rugby injuries, which led to the construction of distinct personal narratives about the rugby injuries. With the player's first rugby injury the discourse of national colours mainly informed the rehabilitation process, while with the second injury, the discourse of embodiment mainly influenced his rehabilitation from the injury.

Key Words: Rugby injuries, rehabilitation, discourse analysis, positivistic epistemology, social constructionism

AJPHERD. Vol.10(1) 2004: 20-41

AJOL African Journals Online