Accueil > Disability and society

IFCO 2410 - Disability and Society

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

The social status of persons with disabilities has undergone fundamental changes in the past century. From the compensation of injured war veterans to de-institutionalization and more recently antidiscrimination, collective mobilizations and public policies have promoted, reflected and accompanied these social transformations. The main aim of this interdisciplinary course is to help students make sense of this fundamental social change, by means of an introduction to the key concepts and empirical results of disability studies (social model, disability policy and politics, access to education, employment …). Based on inputs from different disciplines (sociology, political science, history, law, ethics), we reflect on the interplay between policy, politics and the production of knowledge in the promotion of a more inclusive society.


  • BOUCHET, Célia (Doctorante contractuelle)
  • REVILLARD, Anne (Associate Professor)

Pedagogical format

The teaching format for this course is highly participative and promotes active learning. The time spent in class is expected to be a very active time, where the students do most of the learning, along with prior readings and group work. Group discussions will be regularly organized in class to favor the involvement of students.  

Course validation

Individual assignments: - Reading assignments : 40% - “Takeaway from Disability & Society” note: 20% Group work (topic-specific presentation and discussion of another group's presentation) : 40%


Estimated out-of-class workload: - Personal 10 hours - Group 10 hours (per student) (reference search, reading, synthesis, slides and presentation prep)

Required reading

  • Oliver, M., & Barnes, C. (2012), « The importance of definitions in the disability debate », p.11-27 in The new politics of disablement. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Heyer, K. (2015), « The disability revolution: from welfare to rights », p.22-32 in Rights enabled: the disability revolution, from the US, to Germany and Japan, to the United Nations. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press
  • Shah, S., & Priestley, M. (2011), « Telling stories », p. 23-45 in Disability and social change. Private lives and public policies. Bristol: Policy Press.

Plans de cours et bibliographies

  • Section 1: Introduction
  • Section 2: The disability movement
  • Section 3: The social model and its critiques
  • Section 4: From disability to disabilities
  • Section 5: Disability policies at the crossroads
  • Section 6: Global disability rights
  • Section 7: Education
  • Section 8: Employment
  • Section 9: Care
  • Section 10: Cultural representations
  • Section 11: Undoing stigma
  • Section 12: Conclusion, preparation of takeaway note and course evaluation


  • Abberley Paul, 1987, « The concept of oppression and the development of a social theory of disability », Disability, handicap and society, 2, 1, p. 5-19.
  • Albrecht, Gary, Katherine Seelman, and Michael Bury, eds. 2001. Handbook of Disability Studies. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Barnartt Sharon and Scotch Richard K., 2001, Disability Protests. Contentious Politics, 1970-1999, Washington, DC, Gallaudet University Press.
  • Barnes, Colin, Mike Oliver, and Len Barton, eds. 2002. Disability Studies Today. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Barnes, Colin, and Geof Mercer. 2010. Exploring Disability. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Barnes Colin, 2005, The social model of disability: Europe and the majority world, Leeds, Disability Press.
  • Barnes C, ‘Disability, higher education and the inclusive society’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28.1 (2007), 135-145
  • Barnes C, ‘Re-thinking disability, work and welfare’, Sociology Compass, 6.6 (2012), 458-471
  • Barral Catherine, 2007, “Disabled Persons’ Associations in France.” Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, vol. 9, n° 3-4, p. 214–236.
  • Borsay Anne, 2005, Disability and social policy in Britain since 1750, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Carey A.C., 2009, On the margins of citizenship. Intellectual disability and civil rights in twentieth-century America, Philadelphia, Temple University Press.
  • DeJong G., 1979, « Independent Living: from social movement to analytic paradigm », Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 60, p. 435‑446.
  • Engel D., Munger F.W., 2001, « Re-Interpreting the Effects of Rights: Career Narratives and the ADA », Ohio State Law Journal, 285, p. 285‑333.
  • Engel David M and Munger Frank W, 2003, Rights of inclusion. Law and identity in the life stories of Americans with disabilities, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
  • Fleischer Doris Z and Zames Frieda, 2011, The disability rights movement: From charity to confrontation, Philadelphia, Temple University Press.
  • Finkelstein Victor, 1980, Attitudes and disabled people: issues for discussion, New York, World Rehabilitation Fund.
  • Fougeyrollas, Patrick, and Line Beauregard. 2001. “Disability: An Interactive Person-Environment Social Creation.” Pp. 171–94 in Handbook of disability studies, edited by Gary Albrecht, Katherine Seelman, and Michael Bury. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Garland-Thomson R., 1996, Freakery: Cultural spectacles of the extraordinary body, New York, New York University Press.
  • Garland-Thomson R., 2005, « Feminist disability studies », Signs, 30, 2, p. 1557‑1587.
  • Goffman Erving, 1963, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, New York, Simon & Schuster.
  • Gustavsson Anders, 2004, « The role of theory in disability research: springboard or strait-jacket? », Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 6, 1, p. 55‑70.
  • Harpur Paul, 2012, “Embracing the new disability rights paradigm: the importance of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” Disability & Society, vol. 27, n° 1, p. 1–14.
  • Heyer, Katharina C (2015). Rights enabled: the disability revolution, from the US, to Germany and Japan, to the United Nations. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Kelemen R Daniel and Vanhala Lisa, 2010, “The Shift to the Rights Model of Disability in the EU and Canada.” Regional and Federal Studies, vol. 20, n° 1, p. 1–18.
  • Kittay, E. (2011). The Ethics of Care, Dependence, and Disability. Ratio Juris, 24(1), 49–58.
  • McLaughlin, J. (2006). Conceptualising Intensive Caring Activities: the Changing Lives of Families with Young Disabled Children. Sociological Research Online, 11(1).
  • Morris J., 1993, « Feminism and disability », Feminist Review, 43, p. 57‑70.
  • O’Brien, R. (2001). Crippled justice. The History of Modern Disability Policy in the Workplace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Oliver Michael, 1996, Disability politics: Understanding our past, changing our future, London, Routledge.
  • Oliver, M., & Barnes, C. (2012). The new politics of disablement. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Peters S. J., 2007, “‘Education for All?’: A Historical Analysis of International Inclusive Education Policy and Individuals With Disabilities,.” Journal of Disability Policy Studies, vol. 18, n° 2, p. 98–108.
  • Priestley, M. (2003). Disability: a life course approach. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Prince, M. (2009). Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Scotch Richard K., 2001, From Good Will to Civil Rights: Transforming Federal Disability Policy, Philadelphia, Temple University Press.
  • Shah, S. (2008). Young Disabled People: Aspirations, Choices and Constraints. Surrey: Ashgate.
  • Shah, S. (2005). Career success of disabled high-flyers. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Shah Sonali and Priestley Mark, 2011, Disability and social change. Private lives and public policies, Bristol, Policy Press.
  • Shakespeare Tom, 2004, « Social models of disability and other life strategies », Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 6, 1, p. 8‑21.
  • Shakespeare Tom, 2013, Disability rights and wrongs revisited, London; New York, Routledge.
  • Stiker Henri-Jacques, 1999, A history of disability, University of Michigan Press.
  • Stone D., 1984, The disabled state, Philadelphia, Temple University Press.
  • Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C., & Thomas, C. (2013). Disabling barriers - Enabling environments. London: Sage.
  • Thomas C., 1997, « The baby and the bath water: disabled women and motherhood in social context », Sociology of Health & Illness, 19, 5, p. 622‑643.
  • Ungerson C., 1999, « Personal assistants and disabled people: an examination of a hybrid form of work and care », Work, Employment and Society, 13, 4, p. 583‑600.
  • Vanhala Lisa, 2011, Making Rights a Reality? Disability Rights Activists and Legal Mobilization, New York, Cambridge University Press.
  • Ville Isabelle and Ravaud Jean-François, 2007, “French Disability Studies: Differences and Similarities,.” Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, vol. 9, n° 3-4, p. 138–145.
  • Watson, Nick, Alan Roulstone, and Carol Thomas, eds. 2012. Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies. New York: Routledge.
  • WHO. 2011. World Report on Disability. Malta: World Health Organization & World Bank.
  • Winance, Myriam, Isabelle Ville, and Jean-François Ravaud. 2007. “Disability Policies in France: Changes and Tensions between the Category-Based, Universalist and Personalized Approaches.” Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research 9(3-4):160–81.

Recommended academic journals: ALTER, European Journal of Disability Research, Disability and society, Disability studies quarterly, Journal of Disability Policy Studies, Canadian journal of disability studies, Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research.