Over recent years there has been an unprecedented upsurge of interest in the general area of disability and disability studies amongst academics and researchers throughout the world. This has generated an increasingly expansive literature, from a variety of perspectives, including cultural studies, development studies, geography, history, philosophy, social policy, social psychology and sociology. Perhaps inevitably, given this heightened interest, a number of important challenges and debates have emerged which raise many significant questions for all those interested in this newly emergent and increasingly important field. Disability Studies Today provides an invaluable introduction to and an overview of these concerns and controversies. Although the field is increasingly interdisciplinary in nature, the emphasis is primarily a sociological one since sociology continues to play a central role in the development of disability studies. Whilst the focus is primarily on theoretical innovation and advancement, the arguments presented in this book have important political and policy implications for both disabled and non--disabled people.
Moreover, since disability studies, like ethnic, women's and gay and lesbian studies, has developed from a position of engagement and activism rather than one of detachment, the articles in this volume maintain this tradition. The book contains contributions from established figures, as well as newcomers to the field. Topics covered include: the history of the development of disability studies in Britain and America, key ideas, issues and thinkers, the role of the body, divisions and hierarchies, history, power and identity, work, politics and the disabled peoples' movement, globalization, human rights, research and the role of the academy. This book will prove invaluable to scholars, researchers, students and policy makers and, indeed, all those involved in this increasingly important area of social enquiry.