- Disability Studies as an academic field: reflections on its development
- Medische Antropologie
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Serious attempts are now being made to develop disability studies as an academic field in the Netherlands. On the one hand, the field will have to establish its place in the division of academic labor. On the other hand it will need to safeguard its relevance for, and connections with, the disability movement. How is this to be accomplished? The social model of disability offered an approach that, in the Anglo-Saxon countries, provided an integration of theoretical and sociopolitical objectives. But, in the first place this approach has not achieved the same purchase outside those countries, and in the second place it is currently subject to a variety of critiques. Drawing on insights from the social study of science, in this paper we argue that the social model should not be abandoned, but must rather be refined and extended to accommodate critique. Implications for the organization of the field of disability studies are discussed.
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