Rethinking disability: Lessons from the past, questions for the future. Contributions and limits of the social model, the sociology of science and technology, and the ethics of care

Abstract : In this article, I analyze one evolution in disability research over the past 30 years: the shift from an individual to a social approach to disability. While most disability research has currently “socialized” disability or at the least situates disabled people within a social context, not all do so in the same way nor based on the same assumptions. They lead to different concepts of the person and society and different concepts of disability and normalcy. I analyze this evolution by looking at three approaches to disability: the social model, the approach taken in the sociology of science and technology, and the ethics of care. I show how each, by renewing the analysis of disability, has brought about changes for disabled people and transformed ways of “living together” and “making society.” I also show the limits of these approaches and propose lines of thought for the continuation of our research, notably around the question of autonomy. I propose that we re-think autonomy from the standpoint of the notion of “recalcitrance”.
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Myriam Winance. Rethinking disability: Lessons from the past, questions for the future. Contributions and limits of the social model, the sociology of science and technology, and the ethics of care. Alter: European Journal of Disability Research / Revue européenne de recherche sur le handicap, Elsevier Masson, 2016, 10 (2), pp.99-110. ⟨10.1016/j.alter.2016.02.005⟩. ⟨hal-01316452⟩

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