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The New Politics of Disablement

by Michael Oliver & Colin Barnes

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In his 1990 text "The Politics of Disablement", Mike Oliver made the groundbreaking proposition that disablement is an institutional, rather than an individual, problem. He provided the first systematic account of the way that definitions of disability and its realities are rooted in economic, social and political structures, and argued that discrimination against disabled people should be challenged as vigorously as racism or sexism.

Thoroughly revised to reflect the dynamism of the emergent field of disability studies and the contemporary economic and political landscape, this agenda-setting text:

  • challenges the dominance of medical, psychological and capitalist viewpoints in debates about social issues
  • reassesses the status of disabled people in society, exploring their marginalization in the face of reduced public spending
  • considers new conceptual models and policies, such as independent living, for achieving a fully inclusive society.

Rigorous, provocative and impassioned, "The New Politics of Disablement" is essential reading for anyone with academic, professional or personal interests in this hotly contested, ever-evolving field.