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Disability studies is a relatively new field that has emerged, mostly in the West, over the last four decades. Like other major contributions to academic thinking such as feminism and Marxism, the field of disability studies was spurred and highly influenced by the social movements and political activism of people labelled and marginalised as ‘disabled’. Although the models and understandings of disability are different across scholars and countries, the basic argument that they all share is the rejection of the idea that disability is an individual trait, located in the body or mind of a person with disability.

Instead, disability studies trace the roots of disability (at least in part) to cultural, political, economic, medical, educational, and social oppression exercised on people identified as impaired. This ...

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