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Journal article

Drifting down the Gulf Stream: navigating the cultures of disability studies

Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 19(7), December 2004, pp.721-733.
Taylor and Francis,

Explores divergent theoretical developments in UK and US disability studies and posits some explanations for these differing trajectories. History, politics, space, place and the search for identity have all played important roles. These emergent and hotly debated developments add a wealth of material to the epistemological project. The question remains as to what explanatory power discourses developed within western metropolitan national cultures have for exploring the experience of disability in cultures on the peripheries.

Journal article

Moving the boundaries of feminist social work education with disabled people in the neoliberal era

Journal article citation:
Social Work Education (The International Journal), 31(2), March 2012, pp.246-252.
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Social work education in Australia, until recently, has either marginalised or neglected disability by omission. With the increasing number of disabled people in the community, the teaching of social work within a disability studies emancipatory paradigm as an essential part of the curriculum is long overdue. As many social work educators have suggested, Australia is at a critical moment in where the policy environment in which social work is embedded has largely been reframed in line with neoliberal trends. For disabled people, this has meant an ongoing state campaign to diminish disability entitlements, from decreasing disability social security regimes through to the rationalisation of adult disability support and care schemes. This article suggests that emerging discourses within the realm of affective equality can provide one possible avenue to expand social workers’ practice to encourage enabling practices under Australian neoliberal welfare-to-work regimes.

Journal article

Integrating critical disability studies into social work education and practice: an Australian perspective

Journal article citation:
Practice: Social Work in Action, 19(3), September 2007, pp.169-183.
Taylor and Francis

This article surveys the potential for critical disability studies to enhance the teaching of social work education and practice. For disabled people social work can be a contradictory experience. Social workers are part of a 'disabling' as well as an 'enabling' profession and are increasingly coming under the critical gaze of disabled scholars and activists within the disability movement. As a result of a long association with medicalised paradigms of intervention, social work has either failed to take on board new ways of examining the disability experience or simply left disability as a marginal practice concern. Emancipatory paradigms, which place the views of disabled people as central to the change process, are replacing traditional ways of thinking. In this article, teaching disability is explored within the Australian context where market ideologies are heavily influencing the work of social work and other human service professionals. It reviews teaching an elective subject in disability to undergraduate social work students and concludes with implications for change in the social work curriculum, which should have direct impact on the practice of future social workers.

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