Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Including a new generation? Using qualitative longitudinal methods to understand disabled people's lives in the 21st century.

December 2006 - November 2009

The social inclusion of disabled people is an issue of current social importance for politicians, policy makers, employers and educators.

The aim of the research is to inform these public debates by explaining how recent changes in social attitudes, policies and practices affect the life choices of a new generation of disabled people and the lives they lead.

Its particular emphasis is on change over time. The research uses qualitative longitudinal methods to actively involve three generational cohorts of disabled people: people born in the 1940s, 1960s and 1980s.

There is a particular focus on the youngest of these cohorts, who are the first generation of disabled people in Britain to reach adulthood in an era of non-discrimination legislation. Their experiences, and life choices, will be compared with those of their non-disabled peers, and with the biographical accounts of previous generational cohorts.

Our analysis will link these generational experiences to time lines of social and political change affecting disabled people in Britain. The research will build on the partner's theoretical work, and there will be close links with the newly-established ESRC Methods Node and 'Timescapes' projects at the host institution.

For further details, please visit The Centre for Disability Studies: including a new generation?

Project Publications

This project is now completed and the findings published in the book Disability and Social Change: private lives and public policies, by Sonali Shah and Mark Priestley.

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