Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Disabilities and the Politics of Schooling
Discussions of disability in educational contexts commonly equate disability with individual tragedy, individual deficit, and individual dysfunction rooted in oppressive medicalized and clinical discourses that offer little space for alternative, empowering discourses of resistance and of possibility. In contrast, the field of disability studies has theorized disability as a social and political construct and theorized disabled people as a minority group engaged in a political struggle for civil rights. Disability studies' scholarship foregrounds social difference as its central analytic and deconstructs the social hierarchies society creates between the normal and the pathological, the insider and the outsider, and the competent citizen and the ward of the state. Similarly, some discussions on the politics of the everyday practices of educational institutions, in their functions of sorting, organizing, educating, and evaluating students, also serve to foreground the social, political, and economic impact of disciplining a diverse student population into conforming to a ...