chapter
4 Pages

Introduction

ByCOLIN BARNES, CAROL THOMAS

Before the 1980s academic interest in disability was characterized by conventional individualistic medical explanations, and dominated by medicine and related professional interests. Social scientists concerned with this increasingly important area of enquiry tended to follow similar paths. While some writers recognized the significance of economic, social and cultural factors in the production of disability, the causes of the various deprivations and disadvantages experienced by disabled people were still largely located at the individual level.