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Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada by Michael J. Prince

By Michael J. Prince

Publish yr note: First released in 2009

Disability exists within the shadows of public expertise and on the outer edge of coverage making. individuals with disabilities are, in lots of respects, lacking from the theories and practices of social rights, political participation, employment, and civic club. Absent voters brings to mild those continual deficiencies in Canadian society and emphasizes the results that those omissions have at the lives of voters with disabilities.

Drawing jointly parts from feminist reviews, political technological know-how, public management, sociology, and concrete reviews, Michael J. Prince examines mechanisms of exclusion and inclusion, public attitudes on incapacity, and policy-making approaches within the context of incapacity. Absent voters additionally considers social activism and civic engagements by means of individuals with disabilities and incapacity group enterprises, highlighting presence instead of absence and advocating either inquiry and motion to ameliorate the marginalization of a frequently forgotten phase of the Canadian inhabitants.

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Additional info for Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada

Sample text

In terms of pride, focus group interactions showed that most participants ‘like to think of themselves as being open to the idea of integration of persons with disabilities into their day-to-day activities’ and that they ‘want to behave toward a person with disabilities in a kind and sympathetic manner. They don’t want to appear uncaring or unsympathetic’ (Environics Research Group 2004b: 9–10). ’ In the blunt words of one participant from Toronto, with some post-secondary education: ‘I don’t mind being around anyone with a disability as long as it is visible and not ugly’ (Environics Research Group 2004b: 34).

Canadians’ ambivalent attitudes further arise in the degree of acceptance of persons with disabilities, the awareness and opinions about barriers to inclusion, and suggestions for improving the status quo for persons with disabilities. While participants felt people with disabilities deserve the same opportunities as other citizens to participate in social, economic, and public affairs to the fullest, some participants expressed concern that the integration of people with disabilities in workplaces could negatively affect the rights of those who do not have disabilities to participation in the labour market (Environics Research Group 2004b: 9–10; also see Burge, Ouellette-Kuntz, and Lysaght 2007).

Although the city is under theorized by disability studies, the chapter draws several themes from that field of inquiry on the implications of urbanism for social cohesion, inclusion, and diversity. Canadian cities are critical sites for struggles over disabling features of society and for popular efforts at developing what citizenship means in practice. The theoretical and practical intentions of chapter 3 are threefold: first, to stimulate more serious attention to social stratification and 26 Absent Citizens social inequality, certainly in public policy analysis and social policy studies; second, to emphasize disability as a lived experience and social and historical construction, as a core dimension of inequality that ought to be routinely included in sociological research and texts; and, third, to insert the welfare state more centrally into mainstream examinations of stratification and how, through a range of technologies, state agencies and officials structure enabling and/or disabling environments for marginalized social groups.

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