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'Out of Place', 'Knowing One's Place': space, power and the exclusion of disabled people

Disability and Society

Author: Kitchin, R.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1998


Disabled people are marginalised and excluded from `mainstream ' society. In general, our understanding of the processes of exclusion is grounded in time and history. In this paper, it is argued that space, as well as time, is instrumental in reproducing and sustaining disablist practices. Disability has distinct spatialities that work to exclude and oppress disabled people. Spaces are currently organised to keep disabled people `in their place' and 'written' to convey to disabled people that they are `out of place'. Furthermore, social relations currently work to spatially isolate and marginalise disabled people and their carers. Disability is spatially, as well as socially, constructed. It is contended that an understanding of society's reaction to, and the experiences of, disability should be framed within an approach that combines a spatialised political economy with social constructivism. Unlike neo-Marxist approaches this approach is centred on notions of power rather than capital. Using this approach, the spatialities of disability are explored.

Further Details

Pages: 343-356
Volume: 13
Issue: 3
Accession Number: December, 2010
Keywords: design, mobility
Reads: 355