chapter  4
14 Pages

‘It’s like your hair going grey’, or is it?: impairment, disability and the habitus of old age

ByMark Priestley

This chapter discusses the experience of settler societies in general, and Australia in particular, to explore the discursive turmoil generated when disability meets multiculturalism. It elucidates what disability culture might involve, and then interrogate multiculturalism through a disability lens. Multiculturalism has been challenged to incorporate both a redistributive agenda, and an identity and cultural difference agenda. Multiculturalism and multicultural theory have developed as philosophical and policy frameworks for interpreting and managing cultural diversity, usually labelled as 'racial' or ethnic. Multicultural theory and disability theory come together in their common concerns for the politics of recognition, the politics of redistribution, and the conceptualisation of a social relations model of cultural expression. In recent years disabled people in Australia have raised similar concerns about both the multicultural movement and the Indigenous movement. Disability activists swap notes on struggles and campaigns in Japan, Thailand, England and Australia.