False dichotomies of disability politics
Theory and practice in the discourse of Norwegian NGO professionals
This article discusses the relationship between the social and medical models of disability and between the academic and NGO communities in that field. Interviews with professionals from Norwegian disability NGOs show that while they share some of the political goals of the social model, they have a somewhat narrow understanding of the model’s critical potential. A false dichotomy has emerged in NGO discourse: The medical model, which originated as a negative construct within the social model, is reinterpreted as a legitimate conceptual alternative. This hinders dialogue between academe and the NGO community, and hampers the critical potential of the NGOs. In order to eliminate the dichotomy, it is necessary to develop the social model more extensively in discourse contexts outside the academic field.
Keywords: disability, discourse, NGOs, academia, social model, medical model, false dichotomies, topoi
Published online: 30 June 2011
Cited by 4 other publications
Lundberg, Camilla & Eva Simonsen
Smith, Kent & Keith Tudor
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