Disability Study Group

‘Disability’ occupies an ambiguous position within sociology. In some respects, it has been a consistent feature since early symbolic interactionist studies used accounts of impairment in social deviance studies. This approach has remained firmly embedded within the sub-discipline of medical sociology.  Engagement with disability as a social relationship rather than individualistic concern remains marginal in broader sociology, although with the exception of scholars such as Shakespeare (2006) and Thomas (1999) who acknowledge that disability is a complex relation between personal and environmental/social factors. This is surprising given that the foundations of sociology are to understand how society works and provide insights in the relationships between people (institutions, places and non-humans).