* Why has 'the discursive turn' been sidelined in the development of a social theory of disability, and what has been the result of this?
* How might a social theory of disability which fully incorporates the multidimensional and multifunctional role of language be described?
* What would such a theory contribute to a more inclusive understanding of 'discourse' and 'culture'?
The idea that disability is socially created has, in recent years, been increasingly legitimated within social, cultural and policy frameworks and structures which view disability as a form of social oppression. However, the materialist emphasis of these frameworks and structures has sidelined the growing recognition of the central role of language in social phenomena which has accompanied the 'linguistic turn' in social theory. As a result, little attention has been paid within Disability Studies to analysing the role of language in struggle and transformation in power relations and the engineering of social and cultural change. Drawing upon personal narratives, rhetoric, material discourse, discourse analysis, cultural representation, ethnography and contextual studies, international contributors seek to emphasize the multi-dimensional and multi-functional nature of disability language in an attempt to further inform our understanding of disability and to locate disability more firmly within contemporary mainstream social and cultural theory.
Sally French is a part-time Lecturer in the Department of Health Studies at Brunel University. She also works as a freelance writer, researcher and physiotherapist. She has written and edited numerous articles and books relating to Disability Studies, including Disabling Barriers, Enabling Environments (Sage, in association with The Open University) and On Equal Terms (Butterworth-Heinemann).
|Table of Contents|
Series editor's preface
reclaiming language in disability studies
Part one: Personal narratives
The wind gets in my way
I am more than my wheels
Depressed and disabled
some discursive problems with mental illness
Narrative identity and the disabled self
Part two: The social creation of disability identity
Why can't you be normal for once in your life? From a problem with no name to the emergency of a new category of difference
Unless otherwise stated
discourses of labelling and identity in coming out
Carving out a place to act
acquired impairment and contested identity
Discourse and identity
disabled children in mainstream high schools
Transforming disability identity through critical literacy and the cultural politics of language
identity issues in the parental story of disability
Part three: Cultural discourses
Studying disability rhetorically
Modern slogan, ancient script
disability in the Chinese language
Bodies, brains and behaviour
the return of the three stooges in learning disability
Joseph F. Sullivan and the discourse of 'crippledom' in progressive America
Art and lies? Representations of disability on film
What they don't tell people with learning difficulties
Final accounts and the parasite people
Disability discourse, the principle of optimization and social change