chapter  3
10 Pages

Disability and the Constitution of Dependency

For the organic intellectuals who have helped to make disability studies a theoretical expression of the disability movement the meaning of dependence and independence has been a crucial point of debate (Barnes 1990, 1995; Barton 1989; BCODP 1986; Finkelstein 1981; Lakey 1994). Indeed one can trace the current form of disability politics to the Independent Living Movement (ILM) that flourished originally in the USA in the later part of the 1960s. Since the heady days of counterculture politics, the everyday praxis of disabled people has changed markedly. The resignation associated with dependency and oppression is now infused with a language of opportunity, emancipation and pride (paterson and Hughes 2000). Though much remains to be done in the struggle to transform the material and cultural conditions of disabled people's lives, the social movement of disabled people has begun to undermine the pejorative mythology that disability is necessarily a form of dependency.