Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies

1st Edition

Edited by Nick Watson


452 pages

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The Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies takes a multidisciplinary approach to disability and provides an authoritative and up-to-date overview of the main issues in the field around the world today. Adopting an international perspective and consisting entirely of newly commissioned chapters arranged thematically, it surveys the state of the discipline, examining emerging and cutting edge areas as well as core areas of contention. 

Divided in five sections, this comprehensive handbook covers:

  • different models and approaches to disability
  • how key impairment groups have engaged with disability studies and the writings within the discipline
  • policy and legislation responses to disability studies and to disability activism
  • disability studies and its interaction with other disciplines, such as history, philosophy and science and technology studies
  • disability studies and different life experiences, examining how disability and disability studies intersects with ethnicity, sexuality, gender, childhood and ageing.

Containing chapters from an international selection of leading scholars, this authoritative handbook is an invaluable reference for all academics, researchers and more advanced students in disability studies and associated disciplines such as sociology, health studies and social work.


‘The Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies is an outstanding accomplishment, bringing together many thoughtful and well written contributions, from both leaders in the field and emerging scholars, that advance disability theory, illuminate key academic and policy debates, and extend disability studies into a number of important and timely areas, some previously neglected. I cannot imagine anyone in or out of disability studies who will not find much that is new and valuable in this volume.’ –Richard K. Scotch, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, University of Texas at Dallas, USA.

‘The Editors have brought together a series of readings that are set within a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary dimension. The book is divided into five chosen themes, each providing a rich source of perspectives, insights and questions that are of fundamental concern for disability studies. Given the complexity and contentious nature of the issues and arguments provided in the chapters, there is a serious need for critical engagement on the part of the reader. This is an important and thought-provoking book which deserves to be widely read and debated and will hopefully contribute to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in disability studies.’ – Len Barton, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Theorising Disability 1. The Changing Terrain of Disability Studies / Alan Roulstone, Carol Thomas and Nick Watson 2. Understanding the Social Model of Disability: Past, Present and Future / Colin Barnes 3. Critical Disability Studies: Rethinking the Conventions for the Age of Postmodernity / Margrit Shildrick 4. "Minority Model: From Liberal to Neo-Liberal Futures of Disability" / David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder 5. The ICF and Its Relationship to Disability Studies / Jerome E. Bickenbach 6. Fear, Pity and Disgust: Emotions and the Non-disabled Imaginary / Bill Hughes 7. Psycho-emotional Disablism: The Missing Link? / Donna Reeve 8. Researching Disablement / Nick Watson Section 2: Theorising Impairment and Impairment Effects 9. Deaf Identities in Disability Studies: With Us or Without Us? / Jackie Leach Scully 10. Theorising the Position of People with Learning Difficulties Within Disability Studies: Progress and Pitfalls / Kirsten Stalker 11. Long Term Disabling Conditions and Disability Theory / Sasha Scambler 12. Psychiatric System Survivors An Emerging Movement / Peter Beresford 13. It’s About Time! Understanding the Experience of Speech Impairment / Kevin Paterson 14. Visually Impairment and Disability: a Dual Approach Towards Equality and Inclusion in UK Policy and Provision / Karen Beauchamp-Pryor Section 3: Social Policy and Disability: Health, Personal Assistance, Employment and Education 15. Disability and Neoliberal State Formations / Karen Soldatic Helen Meekosha 16. Disabled People, Work and Employment: A Global Perspective / Alan Roulstone 17. Disability Studies, Inclusive Education & Exclusion. / Michele Moore and Roger Slee 18. Independent Living / Charlotte Pearson 19. Disablement & Health / Eric Emerson, Brandon Vick, Hilary Graham, Chris Hatton, Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Ros Madden, Boika Rechel and Janet Robertson 20. Disability in Developing Countries / Tom Shakespeare Section 4: Disability Studies and Interdisciplinarity 21. Social Encounters, Cultural Representation, and Critical Avoidance / David Bolt 22. What Can Philosophy Tell Us About Disability? / Simo Vehmas 23. The Psychology of Disability / Dan Goodley 24. History and Disability Studies: Evolving Perspectives / Anne Borsay 25. Disability, Sport and Physical Activity: A Critical Review / Brett Smith and Andrew C. Sparkes 26. What Can the Study of Science and Technology Tell Us About Disability? / Stuart Blume Section 5: Contextualising the Disability Experience 27. Feminism and Disability: A Cartography of Multiplicity / Ana Bê 28. Race/Ethnicity and Disability Studies: Towards an Explicitly Intersectional Approach / Deborah Stienstra 29. Mothering and Disability: Implications for Theory and Practice / Claudia Malacrida 30. Understanding Disabled Families: Replacing Tales of Burden With Ties of Interdependency / Janice McLaughlin 31. Conceptual Issues In Childhood and Disability: Integrating Theories From Childhood and Disability Studies / John Davis 32. ‘I Hope He Dies Before Me’ – Unraveling the Debates About Aging and People with Intellectual Disability / Christine Bigby

About the Editor

Nick Watson is Professor of Disability Studies and Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research at the University of Glasgow, UK.

Alan Roulstone is Research Professor at Northumbria University, UK.

Carol Thomas is Professor of Sociology at the University of Lancaster, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery
SOCIAL SCIENCE / People with Disabilities
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disease & Health Issues