Series editor(s): Dr Barbara Altman, Dr Sharon Barnartt
Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy
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|Title:||From “Survival of the Fittest” to “Fitness for All” to “Who defines fitness anyway?”: 100 years of (US) sociological theory on disability|
|Volume:||5 Editor(s): Sharon N. Barnartt ISBN: 978-0-85724-377-5 eISBN: 978-0-85724-378-2|
|Citation:||Corinne Kirchner (2010), From “Survival of the Fittest” to “Fitness for All” to “Who defines fitness anyway?”: 100 years of (US) sociological theory on disability, in Sharon N. Barnartt (ed.) Disability as a Fluid State (Research in Social Science and Disability, Volume 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.131-157|
|DOI:||10.1108/S1479-3547(2010)0000005008 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Article type:||Chapter Item|
A forward thrust drives the theoretical narrative of disability-in-society, as told by scholars of recent decades. Consider these titles (with emphases added): From Stigma to Identity Politics: Political Activism among the Physically Disabled and Former Mental Patients by Anspach (1979); From Good Will to Civil Rights by Scotch (1984); Moving Disability Beyond Stigma a collection edited by Asch and Fine (1988); The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation by Fleischer and Zames (2001). Each title is like a revved-up engine. Together, they convey a message of forward movement in the status of people with disabilities. The road they all travel starts from a negative starting point and ends at a clear and a more desirable, if not yet perfect, destination. The starting point is the subordinated and powerless status of persons with disabilities – a status based on stigma wrapped in pity. The destination: empowerment. These analyses focus on the United States; their authors, while not all sociologists, are close enough for our purpose. The road they all cover starts (chronologically speaking) around the 1940s, and extends – in the case of the earliest – up to the late 1970s; two others cover up to the mid- and late 1980s; and the last one, to the current century.
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