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Exploring Disability, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3485-2
288 pages
July 2010, Polity
Exploring Disability, 2nd Edition (0745634850) cover image
The second edition of this widely used text has been carefully rewritten to ensure that it is up-to-date with cutting-edge debates, evidence, and policy changes. Since the book's initial publication, there has been an expansion of interest in disability in the social sciences, and disability has come to play an increasingly prominent role in political debates. The new edition takes account of all these developments, and also gives greater emphasis to global issues in order to reflect the increasing and intensifying interdependence of nation states in the twenty-first century.

The authors examine, amongst other issues,the changing nature of the concept of disability, key debates in the sociology of health and illness, the politicisation of disability, social policy, and the cultural and media representation of disability. As well as providing an excellent overview of the literature in the area, the book develops an understanding of disability that has implications for both sociology and society.

The second edition of Exploring Disability will be indispensable for students across the social sciences, and in health and social care, who really want to understand the issues facing disabled people and disabling societies.

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  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Chapter 1. Introduction: Analysing Disability
    • Grass roots mobilisation
    • Sociological perspectives
    • A brief word on terminology
    • Overview of the book
  • Chapter 2. Competing Models and Approaches
    • Socio-historical perspectives
    • The individual or medical model of disability
    • Looking beyond individual solutions
    • The social model of disability
    • The biopsychosocial model of disability
    • Review
  • Chapter 3. Sociological Approaches to Chronic Illness and Disability
    • Functionalism, Parsons and the sick role
    • Labelling perspectives and stigmatisation
    • Negotiated and interpretive accounts
    • Medical and professional dominance
    • Towards a political economy of medicine and sickness
    • Embodiment and post structuralism
    • Review
  • Chapter 4. Theories of Disability
    • Welfarism and its discontents
    • Theories of disability and oppression
    • Disability and social divisions
    • Postmodernism: back to the future?
    • Review
  • Chapter 5. Social Exclusion and Disabling Barriers
    • Disability policy and the welfare state
    • Education
    • Financial circumstances
    • Employment
    • Built environment, housing and transport
    • Leisure and social participation
    • Review
  • Chapter 6. Routes to Independent Living
    • The critique of residential institutions
    • Policy direction towards independence
    • Care or independence?
    • User led organisations centres for independent living
    • Direct payments
    • Service user involvement
    • Review
  • Chapter 7. Politics and Disability Politics
    • Politics and disabled people
    • Civil rights and legislation
    • A new social movement?
    • Identity politics
    • Review
  • Chapter 8. Culture, the Media and Identity
    • Sociological approaches to culture
    • Cultural representations of disability
    • Cultural studies approaches
    • Towards a disability culture
    • Review
  • Chapter 9. Disability and the Right to Life
    • Ethics, culture and rights
    • Disability and Eugenics
    • Disability and biotechnology
    • Life and death decisions
    • Review
  • Chapter 10. Disability and Development: Global Perspectives
    • Disability, industrialisation and globalization
    • Comparative perspectives on impairment
    • Poverty, disability and social exclusion
    • Internationalization of disability policy
    • Disability activism: mobilizing for change
  • Review
  • Bibliography
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Colin Barnes is Professor of Disability Studies in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds and Visiting Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Halmstad, Sweden
Geof Mercer is a former Reader in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.

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"The key debates around disability are given a thorough airing in this revised edition of a widely used text"
Times Educational Supplement

"If students and teachers want one resource to assist in their exploration of disability studies, then this is it. It's up-to-date, comprehensive and coherent, outlining the key themes and issues in a readable way. No-one studying disability on an undergraduate, postgraduate or profession training course should be without it."
Mike Oliver, Emeritus Professor, University of Greenwich

 "A deep commitment towards the rights of people with disabilities within the social model of disability shines throughout the entire book, and drives the reader in exploring disability theories with interest and passion."
Angela Genova, University of Urbino

"Exploring Disability is an important, up-to-date, critical and wide-ranging review of key issues that situates the debates and discussion within the growing literature on disability. Exploring Disability should be on the reading lists of many disability studies courses providing as it does the broad overview of where both the discipline and the movement are today. It is a must for academics, policy makers, researchers, and the disability movement."
Marcia Rioux, York Institute for Health Research, Toronto

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