Distorted Ideals: The ‘problem of dependency’ and the Mythology of Independent Living

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    The ideal of independent living for disabled people, although it has political cachet for a society committed to the values of economic independence and self-reliance, represents an over-simplified distortion of the social experiences of disabled and non-disabled people alike and of the complex moral questions arising out of these experiences. However, to understand the ideal of independent living it is important first to examine what is socially constructed as ‘the problem of dependency’ – and herein lies the origins of what I will call ‘the myth of independent living’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3
    Pages (from-to)579-598
    Number of pages19
    JournalSocial Theory and Practice
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2001


    • disability rights
    • autonomy
    • dependency
    • independent living


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