1st Edition

Rehabilitation A Post-critical Approach

By Barbara Gibson Copyright 2016
    180 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    180 Pages
    by CRC Press

    Rehabilitation is dedicated to helping people not only survive, but also thrive. Despite this complex goal, the organizing principles of rehabilitation still rely on biomedicine to construct disability as a problem of impaired bodies. Rehabilitation professionals are committed to helping to enhance people’s lives, but many struggle with how to do so in light of the bigger questions regarding their roles in, for example, working to maintain hope for recovery and/or promoting greater acceptance of diverse abilities. A key problem is the lack of theoretical tools for working through the function of rehabilitation in the lives of disabled people.

    Rehabilitation, for the most part, reflects a narrow mechanistic conception of movement. It considers movements of body structures such as joints, functional movements such as walking, or more recently, how movement and mobility facilitate participation in social roles. Despite a nascent concern with the environmental factors contributing to disablement, movement is still focused primarily on mobilizing people’s bodies.

    Rehabilitation: A Post-critical Approach reexamines the philosophical foundations of rehabilitation, expanding the concept of movement beyond the physical body.

    Drawing from disability studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, and bioethics, this theoretically rigorous yet accessibly styled text:

    • Explores the limitations of biomedicine as the organizing framework of rehabilitation
    • Evaluates new directions to diversify contemporary rehabilitation practice
    • Establishes the parameters for a reconfigured ethics of rehabilitation

    By embracing multiple ideas of movement—not only physical, but also social, emotional, and political—alternative approaches to rehabilitation are revealed.

    Moving Rehabilitation
    A Post-critical Approach
    Critical Disability Studies
    An Ethic of Openness
    Moving Bodies
    Use of Terms
    Mobilizing Post-Critical Methodologies: Book Outline
    Outline of Chapters

    What Is Disability?
    Theorizing Disability
    The Social Model of Disability
    International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health
    What Is Normal(ity)?
    Post-Critical Movements: Perturbing the Normal/Disabled Divide
    Rehabilitating Normal/Disabled

    Quality of Life
    Origins and Confusions
    QOL, Function, and Normalization
    A Case Example
    Challenges from within the Health Sciences
    The Subjective/Objective Divide
    Quality of Life Judgments in Clinical Practices
    The Object of Intervention
    Reforming Quality of Life

    Barbara E. Gibson, Gail Teachman, and Yani Hamdani
    Rethinking Children’s Rehabilitation
    Implications for Rehabilitation Practice
    Unhinging Normal and Development

    Discourses of In/dependence
    Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence in Disability Studies and Rehabilitation
    Moving Assemblages
    Reconstructing Dependencies

    Mobilizing Desire
    Amputee Mobilities
    Crawling Mobilities
    Wheelchair Mobilities
    Mobility Movements

    Re-Forming Rehabilitation
    Continuities of Theory with Practice
    Revisiting the Ethics of Openness
    Implications: Mobilizing and Re-Forming
    Rhizomatic Reforms
    Choices and Directions
    Movement without Conclusion


    Barbara E. Gibson is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, and a senior scientist at the Bloorview Research Institute at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She holds the Bloorview Children's Hospital Foundation Chair in Childhood Disability Studies. She is a physical therapist and bioethicist, whose research examines the sociopolitical dimensions of childhood disability and rehabilitation. She holds cross appointments at the Centre for Person Centred Research, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand, and the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She is an academic fellow at the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research and a member of the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto.

    "The book before you is more than simply a case for reflexivity in, and theoretical reflections on, rehabilitation: it is an important contribution to a burgeoning space of inquiry, to disability studies of rehabilitation. … Gibson does a great service."
    —From the Foreword by Thomas Abrams, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada