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These Days Are Ours: Exploring Young Disabled People's Experiences and Views of the Disabled People's Movement

Griffiths, M (2019) These Days Are Ours: Exploring Young Disabled People's Experiences and Views of the Disabled People's Movement. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores challenges encountered by young disabled people participating and engaging within the UK Disabled People’s Movement (DPM). Challenges they face were identified following a qualitative investigation. Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted with both young disabled people and established members of the Movement. The thesis argues that, for the Movement to be inclusive, remain committed to the social model of disability and accessible to young disabled people, the DPM must provide young members and newcomers with the resources and support to offer a vision for a new and inclusive society. To achieve this, the social model should be repositioned: from a tool/strategy to an "oppositional device" (Beckett and Campbell 2015) that provides counter-rationalities and disrupts the normative practices inherent in the political, economic, and cultural realms. The thesis opens by exploring prominent debates pertinent to the situation of disabled people in contemporary society. It focuses on the politicisation of disability and the intrinsic aspects affecting young disabled people's participation within activism and campaigning. Then follows a review of social movement literature charting the development and existence of (new) social movements, and how the DPM is understood in this field. An Emancipatory Disability Research approach is employed. It led into an original account of key challenges articulated by young disabled people as they attempt to participate in the UK DPM. These are positioned around three central themes: membership, organisation of the Movement, and future considerations that will affect the DPM’s sustainability. Through existing literature, the research delineates a way forward; its emphasis lies on oppositional devices. The thesis addresses directly the concerns raised by respondents. It will prompt discussion - within and outside of academia - on the standing of young disabled people within the DPM. The research contributes towards an understanding of youth and disability activism.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disability; Activism; Social Movements; Social Model; Oppositional Device; Disability Studies; Youth; Young Disabled People; Oppression
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 10:45
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 08:19
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00010741
Supervisors: Standing, K, Millward, P and James, E
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10741

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