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Parasites, Pawns and Partners: Disability Research and the Role of Non-Disabled Researchers

Emma Stone and Mark Priestley
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 47, No. 4 (Dec., 1996), pp. 699-716
DOI: 10.2307/591081
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/591081
Page Count: 18
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Parasites, Pawns and Partners: Disability Research and the Role of Non-Disabled Researchers
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Abstract

Important methodological questions are raised by the act of researching disablement. Disability research has attracted much methodological criticism from disabled people who argue that it has taken place within an oppressive theoretical paradigm and within an oppressive set of social relations. These issues are of heightened significance for non-disabled researchers and bear many similarities to those faced by researchers investigating barriers to the social inclusion of women, Black and 'Third World' peoples. Such challenges have led to the development of an 'emancipatory' research paradigm. Six principles of emancipatory research are identified and the authors' own research projects are critically examined within this framework. A number of contradictions are identified and an attempt made to balance the twin requirements of political action and academic rigour.

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