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Rosemarie Garland-Thomson & Moya Bailey

In: The SAGE Handbook of Identities

Chapter 21: Never Fixed: Modernity and Disability Identities

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Never Fixed: Modernity and Disability Identities
Never fixed: Modernity and disability identities

Contemporary disability identity has emerged in the US and western world in concert with institutional, legislative, and material changes that have defined disability as a civil rights issue and have mandated integration of people with disabilities into previously segregated spaces. In contrast, our collective understanding of disability has been that it is a pathological condition to be addressed by medical treatment. These transformations in thinking and practice wrought by the larger civil rights movement, which includes the disability rights movement, reframed disability as a politicized social identity and people with disabilities as a minority group that has been subjected to discrimination and exclusion from full rights (Shapiro, 1993).

The concept of disability as a social ...

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