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Disability Studies: Past, Present and Future

Disability Studies: Past, Present and Future - book cover

Edited by Len Barton and Mike Oliver (1997)

This book emerged from an international conference held in Ashford, Kent, in September 1996, to celebrate ten years of the international journal Disability and Society.

The first section includes seven chapters based on original papers presented at the conference. These cover a wide range of topics including theory, politics, culture and research.

Part two contains six important articles previously published in the journal relevant to the themes discussed in section one.

The final part includes seven shorter papers on key debates that have emerged from within the context of disability studies since the journal's inception.

This title is now out of print. However, the full text is available electronically on our web site in the Archive section. Please use the following links


  1. Introduction
  1. A Legacy of Oppression: A History of Disability in Western Culture. Colin Barnes
  2. The Limits of Classical Social Theory in the Analysis and Transformation of Disablement (can this really be the end; to be stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again?) By Paul Abberley
  3. From Normalisation to Where? Anne Louise Chappell
  4. Including People with Learning Difficulties: Theory and Practice. Jan Walmsley
  5. 'Growing Pains'Disability Politics The Journey Explained and Described. Jane Campbell
  6. Independent, Proud and Special: Celebrating our Differences. Jenny Corbett
  7. When Myths Masquerade as Science: Disability Research from an Equality-Rights Perspective. Marcia H.Rioux
  8. Personal Trouble or Public Issue? Towards a model of policy for people with physical and mental disabilities. Anne Borsay
  9. The Politics of Special Educational Needs. Len Barton
  10. The Concept of Oppression and the Development of a Social Theory of Disability. Paul Abberley
  11. Stars are not born: an interpretive approach to the politics of disability. Helen Liggett
  12. The Politics of Disability: a new approach. Mike Oliver and Gerry Zarb
  13. Cultural Representation of Disabled People: dustbins for disavowal? Tom Shakespeare
  14. Disability and the Myth of the Independent Researcher. Colin Barnes
  15. Disability and the Myth of the Independent Researcher: a reply. Mike Bury
  16. Rules of Engagement: changing disability research. Tom Shakespeare
  17. Fighting Two Different Battles: unity is preferable to enmity. Ayesha Vernon
  18. Defending the Social Model. Tom Shakespeare & Nicholas Watson
  19. A Reply to Tom Shakespeare and Nicholas Watson. Ruth Pinder
  20. Integrating Models of Disability: a reply to Shakespeare and Watson. Marie Johnston

The online text should be considered as a second edition. The page numbers in the electronic versions are different from those in the first print edition. If quoting from these documents, please reference the URL for each chapter.