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Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction Paperback – November 22, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1847875587 ISBN-10: 1847875580 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


Dan Goodley has written a book that injects new energy into Disability Studies. He breaches disciplinary walls embracing, inter alia, sociology, critical psychology, cultural studies, inclusive education and psychoanalysis. He makes lucid practical and theoretical connections with queer, feminist, class and postcolonial standpoints that prefigure his concluding case for a version of Disability Studies that is critical and transformative. The book is driven by an eclectic pulse and a dynamic curiosity that cuts through orthodoxy. It takes the infant discipline to places it rarely ventures, into the territories of the Empire, the hybrid and the cyborg, into the emerging sites where new forms of disability activism are developing, into theories that open up new possibilities for research. A special commendation must go to the scholarly scope of the text. Professor Goodley plunders literature far and wide to produce the first introduction to Disability Studies that is both global and cosmopolitan
Bill Hughes
Dean of the School of Law and Social Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University

Students who are serious about improving the lives of disabled people will be richly rewarded by Goodley's ground-breaking book and challenged to engage with the content through regular questions and exercises requiring their active engagement with both text and wider literature. By critically examining diverse theories and perspectives Goodley's book meets head-on areas often glossed in the literature and in doing so provides a sophisticated transdisciplinary synthesis of contemporary critical disability theories and perspectives. Riveting to read, brimming with new ideas and challenging to students, this book will take pride of place on many a disability studies student bookshelf
Paul Ramcharan
Co-ordinator of Research and Public Policy at the Australian Centre for Human Rights Education at RMIT University, Melbourne

Dr. Goodley has accomplished what many in disability studies in education have hoped to see-a textbook that is a broad overview of the field. Disability Studies provides what undergraduate and graduate students need in an introductory text. The structure of the text draws in the reader, maintains engagement with the text, and gives student and instructor numerous resources such as thinking points, student activities, seminar ideas, and discussion questions. Dr. Goodley's use of online resources makes the text contemporary and interactive. Dr. Goodley has attended to content as well as structure. He makes connections between chapters by referring the reader to previous chapters with questions for reflection and points of interest. The content covered is expansive and thorough. I intend to use this exceptional book in my doctoral level disability studies seminar
Susan L. Gabel
National College of Education at National-Louis University

Goodley's research is both sweeping and comprehensive. The book shows the depth of Disability Studies informing concerns while providing the reader with a substantive discussion of differences across discursive communities in the UK, Australia, Scandinavia, the US, and Canada. In taking up this comparative methodology, Goodley explains how the field analyzes the politics of human variation from a variety of standpoints, social goals, and disciplinary emphases. It breaks up a common misunderstanding that Disability Studies issues from a single orthodoxy rather than a multiplicity of approaches that complement as well as deepen each other
David Mitchell
Temple University

Dan Goodley’s new book is undoubtedly a very welcome addition to the resources of disability studies in the UK...he presents an interdisciplinary approach to the question of disability that both offers an important critique of existing perspectives and successfully moves towards new and exciting territory...it will certainly push disability studies in the direction of what makes all the difference – critical disability studies, which leaves behind surface explanations and provides a depth of analysis that is both deconstructive and transformative. My further hope is that intrigued readers will go on to explore Goodley’s other rich work
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs

Goodley’s introduction of the field of disability studies thoroughly lives up to the text’s subtitle — this is an interdisciplinary foray of exceptional breadth...In this book, no orthodoxy remains unquestioned, except the one that insists that we must keep questioning.

Dan Goodley’s Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction aims to demonstrate his understanding of disability as “so complex, so variable, so contigent, so situated...”(p.120) that it cannot be reduced to any singular definition identity, model, or research project or political program. This is why Goodley’s book is an excellent introduction to disability studies and is extremely useful to anyone who teaches disability studies or researches in the field
Canadian Review of Sociology

Disability Studies offers a wide and varied overview of the field and moves towards extending analysis in new directions. While early chapters may be a review for seasoned scholars, they are useful for those who may be new to the field, and later chapters offer something useful for everyone... Disability Studies may be especially useful in classrooms...Chapters are logically sequenced and are of appropriate length for classroom use. Key terms are well defined throughout the book, which also suits the work well for the classroom. Complicated concepts such as neoliberalism, poststructualism and biopower are also carefully explained for students and other audiences, with helpful suggestions for follow-up reading. Each chapter also ends with suggestions for further reading with short but useful summaries. The extensive bibliography is a valuable resource for anyone interested in disability
Disability Studies Quarterly

Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction does not disappoint. It is a superb book. Goodley has, again, given us an indispensible resource that continues pushing and extending our thinking...The book examines a breath taking range of themes, ideas, and concepts...However, Goodley does not simply engage with contemporary themes, ideas, or concepts simply to be fashionable or chic. His analysis is informed, responsible, and critical. He too draws on many 'classic texts' and models to situate his insightful analysis of disability, impairment and disablism. In so doing, not only does he locate his arguments in a historical content, but Goodley also gently reminds us of the dangers and limits of sociological and psychological amnesia. That is, in the search for useful and novel ideas, we should not ignore past scholarship and periodically reinvent the wheel
Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies

'This text is an excellent introduction to social perspectives on disability. I use the word introductory rather cautiously as the text brings to the reader the range of disciplinary approaches to critical disability studies - so it may be introductory, but it is far from basic. Goodley covers off the breadth and depth of social approaches to disability studies in a lucid and easily accessible manner. I particularly liked how Goodley brought all the differing perspectives to disability studies into consideration in one text; I have not seen this done before and certainly not to the standard of excellence in this text. A particular strength of the text is that it offers a theoretical approach to working in critical disability studies which can enable the field to develop a more integrated approach to the field than has been possible to date, taking into account as it does, the differing ontological approaches to the field. As such Goodley has also been able to integrate perspectives from a wide variety of countries, writers, activists and old friends. If only this text was available when I did my PhD! It would have been a fantastic resource then and remains so today.

One of the text's many strengths is that it deals with the differing ontological and epistemological approaches to critical disability studies in a fair and even handed manner, while at the same time, maintaining a coherent critical position on the impact which specific governmental processes have in the lives of disabled people. The text has uses for disabled people in raising collective consciousness out and beyond the 'marination' of ablest culture as well as for students and practitioners in the social scientists and professional work. It would serve as an essential text for students of disability studies and students preparing for work in the helping professions.
One of the most difficult tasks I face in my daily work is enabling practitioners to critically reflect on how effect their models of practice have in the daily lives of disabled people. This text will help move them into new paradigms of working. I have found this text highly relevant to my own work and will be recommending it to my students as an essential read!
-Dr Anthony Hogan, School of Sociology, The Australian National University

Dan Goodley's work is always exciting, creative and challenging; it speaks from the heart as well as the mind. This text is no exception. Many of us have perhaps become lazy as readers, expecting immediate access to understanding without working to identify our current position and challenge ourselves with new ways of thinking. This book does not allow that... It is excellent to have reference to a text that crosses disciplinary and national boundaries and which encourages many of us to recognise and rebel against the limitations that prescribed ways of thinking enforce upon us. This book provides a framework in which to make sense of the significant range of disability discourse and practice. The content of this book feels designed to be shared with others, to be a starting point for discussion, debate and challenge. It positions itself as a text of critical disability studies as it is asking us to deconstruct and problematise disability using all the interdisciplinary tools available to us. For those prepared to take up Dan's challenge, this is a critical text in every sense.

-Nick Hodge, Educational Review

Dan Goodley’s work is always exciting, creative and challenging; it speaks from the heart as well as the mind. This text is no exception. The content of this book feels designed to be shared with others, to be a starting point for discussion, debate and challenge. (Nick Hodge Educational Review)

About the Author

Dan Goodley is based at the Research Institute for Health and Social Change and Manchester Metropolitan University. He has has written widely in both qualitative research and disability studies over the years. He's the author of Families with Disabled Children (Palgrave, 2008) and Researching Life Stories Method (Routledge, 2004), the editor of Disability and Psychology (Palgrave, 2005) and Another Disability Studies Reader (Garant, 2005), and has published numerous articles in journals, from the Journal of Cultural and Literary Disability Studies and Disability & Society, to Discourse and International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd; 1 edition (November 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847875580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847875587
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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I love Goodley's work, and it's great to have so many of his ideas in this excellent volume. He's one of the top researchers around disability and self advocacy. I find his writing style very clear and not at all pedantic. This book makes me excited for what might come in the next couple of decades.
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By Hannah on July 15, 2013
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This is an excellent book, thus far. It touches on big issues like religious influences over the popular opinions on disability and how the opinion that disability is "being broken" actually came into being. It is not super thorough, more of an introduction/review.
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By Kat on September 8, 2014
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Excellent methods book (though you should be aware that it is, indeed, a methods book)
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By Joe Roe on November 3, 2014
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