Objects of Protection, Enduring Nodes of Difference: Disability Intersections With “Other” Differences, 1916 to 2016

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The purpose of this chapter is to contribute a cultural–historical analytical perspective on disability and its intersections. We assume that disability is socially, historically, and spatially constructed. This standpoint enables us to understand and disrupt disparities in education that affect students living at the intersection of disability with race and other identity markers. We trace the evolution of disability as an object of protection and injustice from before 1916 to 2016. The chapter is divided into three sections: disability constructions and intersections before 1960, consolidation of the intersections of difference with disabilities between 1960 and 1990, and the protean nature of disability intersections and fragmentations in contemporary history between 1990 and the present. We review legal, social, and academic discourses and offer interdisciplinary conceptual tools to understand the technical and sociopolitical anatomies of disabilities. We end with a brief discussion of future interdisciplinary research programs, including attention to a biocultural dimension in the study of this complex phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-820
Number of pages44
JournalReview of Research in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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