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What form did these charity and fundraising campaigns for persons with disabilities take, at a time when the Nordic welfare states prospered? And what was so ambivalent about them that disability activists like Arne Skouen even threatened to take public authorities to court? A look at two such campaigns in the 1960s gives us some answers to these questions.

In Norway the early 1980s marked a period of upheaval as various minority groups protested for political recognition. Between 1979 and 1982 the Sámi, an indigenous people from the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Russian Kola peninsula, tried to block the construction of a hydroelectric power plant at the river Alta in Northern Norway with mass demonstrations and hunger strikes.

One of the many wonderful things about EUROCLIO (the European network of history educators) is the opportunity it provides to meet and learn from other people with teaching and research interests and perspectives that challenge and inspire better practice.

As the world observed the Annual Day of Landmine Victims  the last 4th of April, Egyptians still suffer from millions of landmines that were implanted in their soil in the 1940s, harvesting lives and limbs of Egyptians for decades.

The film Contagion follows the rapid spread of a virus which grips the entire world in social disorder and hysteria. In doing so, the film relates how uncontrolled pandemics can shake the foundations of civil society.

On the 3rd of December 2017 and while the world was celebrating the International Day of Disability, The Egyptian parliament approved the bill of a new legislation that was described as a ‘historic law’ because it  would grant unprecedented facilitations, rights and more empowerment to the persons with disabilities (PWD) in the country.

The previous post of this blog series listed some of the points of critique that have been formulated by various scholars on the social model of disability. This account was by no means exhaustive, but it does serve to illustrate that in a changed intellectual context new limits of the social model have surfaced.

The social model of disability has been very successful within British and American disability studies as well as outside the academy. It has influenced national and international policies on disability in governmental and non-governmental organizations. Yet, notwithstanding these successes, the social model has faced various forms of critique in the last two decades.

The topic of this three-part blog series is a concept that seems quite ubiquitous in the field of disability studies: the social model of disability. Drawing from existing literature, in this this first post I will provide a (very) brief introduction of the social model of disability and its (British) origins.

In 1965, after the public discussions and protests of disability activist organizations had seriously questioned the legitimacy of exclusion and special institutions, Sweden established a National Disability Commission as a first signal that politicians took the demands seriously.