Disability and Bodies as Bearers of Value

Edwards, Claire and Imrie, Rob. 2003. Disability and Bodies as Bearers of Value. Sociology, 37(2), pp. 239-256. ISSN 0038-0385 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper considers the relevance of Pierre Bourdieu's conceptions of the body to the development of disability theory. We begin by discussing the limitations of reductive conceptions of disability. In so doing, we consider how far Bourdieu's (1990) concept of habitus offers a way of bringing an analysis of the body to bear upon an understanding of the social inequalities which are core to the lives of disabled people. Through focus groups with disabled people, the paper explores aspects of disabled people's corporeal identities, feelings, and (embodied) encounters in a range of social settings. The research shows that disabled people's lives are connected to different 'valuations' attributed to corporeal forms, and to systems of signification and representation which underpin them. We conclude by reaffirming the need to consider Bourdieu's ideas in helping in the development of disability theory.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR)


May 2003Published

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Date Deposited:

23 Jun 2014 08:48

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:59

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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