Disability And society: A Reader
Renu Addlakha , Stuart Blume, Patrick J. Devlieger, Osamu Nagase and Myriam Winance (Eds.)
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

In the 1980’s disabled scholars in the West began to develop a radical critique of biomedical conceptions of disability that focused exclusively on the individual body and its limitations. They also exposed the failure of the social sciences to critically address what this medical understanding of disability meant, and what it excluded from consideration. Out of their work emerged what is generally called the ‘social model’ of disability. Over the past twenty years this perspective has generated a substantial literature, much of it making use of the methods of qualitative social research. Narratives and life histories produced by disabled people themselves have a central place in the Disability Studies literature. This work has major implications for professionals in the rehabilitation field, for the social sciences, and the ultimate goal, for the full integration of disabled people into society. However almost all of if focuses on the traditions, practices and dilemmas of northern countries.

In India, in Thailand and in most of Asia, the field of disability continues to be dominated by the biomedical model. Thus, ‘disability’ is understood as an incurable chronic illness and, increasingly, an object for medical diagnosis and investigation. Despite many positive developments, little convergence between disability politics and practice on the one hand, and sociology and anthropology on the other has taken place. Surveying the international literature on disability and rehabilitation, it becomes apparent that many studies carried out in Asian countries are designed to measure the extent of (unmet) need or the impact of services or attitudes to disabled people. Virtually no studies make use of the innovative, usually qualitative and often holistic approaches developed in Western countries over the past twenty years. This book introduces readers in Asian countries to the recent disability literature of the West. The editors hope that it will inspire new thinking among social scientist, rehabilitation professionals and organizations of disabled people themselves that could further the empowerment of people with disabilities.

Renu Addlakha is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi. Her areas of specialisation range from the sociology of medicine, to psychiatry and public health policy. She is the author of Deconstructing Mental Illness: An Ehnography of Psychiatry, Women and the Family (2008) 

Stuart Blume is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam and holds the Chair of the Innovia Foundation for Medicine Technology and Society. His publications include Insight and Industry: On the Dynamics of Technological Change in Medicine (1992) and Limits to Healing: On Science, Technology and the Deafness of a Child (2006, in Dutch) 

Patrick J. Devlieger is senior lecturer in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Leuven. His publications include Rethinking Disability (2003) and Blindness and the Multi-Sensorial City (2006) Osamu Nagase specialises in disability studies and is currently Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo. Currently he chairs the International Committee of Inclusion, Japan. 

Myriam Winance is a sociologist. She currently holds a research position with INSERM (the French National Research Institute for Health and Medicine) and is affiliated with CERMES (Centre for studies in Medicine, Science, Health and Society) and the Universite de paris XI
3-6-752 Himayatnagar, Hyderabad,
500 029 Telangana
Phone: (040) 27662849, 27662850
Email: centraloffice@orientblackswan.com
Follow us on
Copyright © Orient BlackSwan, All rights reserved.
Disclaimer and Privacy Policy
Terms and Conditions
Frequently Asked Questions