The social model analysis of disability and the majority world

  • Elia Bernabeu Mira Investigadora independiente
Palabras clave: Disability, models, globalization


There is a strong controversy of how disability should be understood and if the models suggested in the minority world can or should be used in other places. Is the social model as relevant to the disabled people in the majority world as it is to disabled people in the minority world? It is exactly part of this controversy that we will try to examine in this paper. This article will begin by defining key concepts relevant to the discussion and following that it will address issues and questions raised by critics of the social model and some answers to them. First, we will examine whether the dominance of the minority world has resulted in a “colonization” of ideas and practices on the majority world (including the social model approach). Secondly, reference will be made to the social model of disabil-ity, and whether it is or is not ignoring what impairment means for disabled peo-ple in the majority world. Thirdly, an analysis of whether it is relevant to apply the social model of disability in the majority world; is the issue of poverty forgot-ten? Is survival a first priority for disabled persons in some places? A brief analy-sis of the links between poverty, impairment and disability will be presented.


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