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Disabled children’s childhood studies: a distinct approach?

Curran, Tillie and Runswick-Cole, Katherine (2014) Disabled children’s childhood studies: a distinct approach? Disability & society, 29 (10). pp. 1617-1630. ISSN 1360-0508

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Abstract

This paper suggests that the emergence of disabled children’s childhood studies as an area of study offers a distinct approach to inquiry; it represents a significant shift away from the long-standing deficit discourses of disabled childhoods that have dominated western culture and its reaches. On the one hand, contemporary childhood studies contest normative, Eurocentric mantras around the ‘standard child’; while on the other, disability studies critique the medical discourses and the scope of its authority. However, while drawing on these two approaches, disabled children’s childhood studies provide more than this combined critique. In disabled children’s childhood studies, disabled children are not viewed as necessarily having problems or being problems, but as having childhoods.

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