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Understanding social movements : theorising the disability movement in conditions of late modernity.

Beckett, A. E. (2006) 'Understanding social movements : theorising the disability movement in conditions of late modernity.', Sociological review., 54 (4). pp. 734-752.


This article draws upon qualitative research carried out by the author and funded by the ESRC. One of the central aims of this research was to investigate the nature of the UK disability movement's 'struggle' and to evaluate critically the idea that it is a 'new' social movement. Consideration of the disability movement in relation to both 'new' social movements and to wider social movement theorising has suggested that it may not be possible to understand this movement, entirely, by using any of the existing models. This article concludes by outlining the possible starting point for a new approach to understanding the disability movement based upon forging a closer link between citizenship and social movement theory and upon a focus on the nature of engagement. Empirical evidence from the research is included in this article in the form of quotations from respondents, all of whom are/were members of organisations that are run by disabled people. All respondents' names have been removed to maintain their anonymity.

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Record Created:08 Aug 2008
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:28

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