Heroic Masculinity Following Spinal Cord Injury: Implications for Therapeutic Recreation Practice and Research


  • Susan L. Hutchinson
  • Douglas A. Kleiber


Spinal Cord Injury, Adjustment, Masculinity, Rehabilitation, Hero Metaphor


This study examined portrayals of men's recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI) in magazines about people with disabilities to consider the possible influence of these representations on men's adjustment to their injuries. A theme of heroic masculinity was identified in the portrayals. Representations of heroic recovery from SCI in disability magazines provide narrative scripts by which men in rehabilitation come to understand how to be "good men" after their injuries. Therapeutic recreation practitioners can assist men with SCI to address the impact of masculine ideologies on their identity and lifestyle choices through leisure education and programming. Therapeutic recreation is ideally positioned to challenge traditional masculine ideologies and to provide men with SCI alternative "frames" for rebuilding their lives.





Research Papers