Presentation on theme: "S OCIAL G EOGRAPHY AND D ISABILITY S TUDIES MAKE A G OOD M ARRIAGE ?! Studying jammed life trajectories and creative strategies of people with intellectual."— Presentation transcript:
S OCIAL G EOGRAPHY AND D ISABILITY S TUDIES MAKE A G OOD M ARRIAGE ?! Studying jammed life trajectories and creative strategies of people with intellectual disabilities and their environment. LIEN CLAES – GHENT UNIVERSITY Disability Studies Conference Lancaster 2010
S OME B ACKGROUND I NFORMATION … PhD research: - Ghent University, Faculty of Psychology & Educational Sciences, Department of Special Education - Jammed trajectories and creative solutions for people with intellectual disabilities and their environment: life story research from a cross-fertilization of the perspectives disability studies and social geography. - Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Geert Van Hove
I NTRODUCTION People with intellectual disability (ID) and additional mental health problems: complex support questions and limited support (jammed situations – falling between two stools) - Exclusion criterions - General lack of expertise - Long waiting lists - Little coordination/collaboration between mental health care and support system for people with ID At the same time: people are (supposed to) and should be very mobile (cf. endless trajectories in the care/support system)
I NTRODUCTION Current research: medical-psychiatric discourse (focus on: individual problems, symptoms, diagnoses, treatment,… – without charging the context) This research: social interpretations (focus on: life (hi)stories and trajectories of people with ID ánd their environment) - Space and place as valuable indicators - 5 (?) extensive case studies - Variety of research methods
T HEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS Looking for a theoretical framework that: Could capture the apparent field of tension (jammed vs. mobile) Fits with the ambition to focus on life (hi)stories, trajectories and personal experiences of space/place Disability Studies Disability as socio-cultural construct widens the target The choice/wish to describe, analyze, understand, change,.. (rather than diagnose or treat) But…disability studies doesnt highlight a spatial approach?
T HEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS Social Geography: Studies socio-spatial processes regulating and reproducing social exclusion and oppression and wants to bring the perspectives and lived experiences of marginalized groups Different view in studying life trajectories, spatialities and processes of in/exclusion of people with ID and mental health problems Could a creative cross-fertilization of the perspectives make a Good Marriage?
T HE PLACE OF ( INTELLECTUAL ) DISABILITY IN SOCIAL GEOGRAPHY Social geography: whats in a name?! From science of places to social science, from the study of people and nature in intricate relation to the analysis of social phenomena in space… Evolutions in scope, content and methodology Concerned with social issues affecting peoples lives (eg. class, gender, poverty,…) and the role of space in the creation of social relations, identities, social inequalities and oppression Involves the understanding of the patterns which arise from the use social groups make of space and of the processes involved in making and changing such patterns
T HE PLACE OF ( INTELLECTUAL ) DISABILITY IN SOCIAL GEOGRAPHY Geographies of disability: Before 90: disability was hardly considered By the end of the 90s: more attention (an important area of scholarship within human geography) Initially: physical disability and mental health problems Geographies of intellectual disability remained neglected and marginalized Paradigm shift: from medicalized/positivist to social model/social constructionist perspective
O PENING SPACE … Opening space for geographies of (intellectual) disability in social geography Opening space for the spatial and geographical in disability studies -> Marriage is reflected in 3 sections of research questions: 1. Boundaries in spatial trajectories 2. Space, place and the construction of meanings 3. Space, place and relations
O PENING SPACE Boundaries in spatial trajectories: How are people with ID and mental health problems moving within the institutions that are created and organized for them? What are boundaries in their spatial moving? How can mobility – as an interdisciplinary studied metaphor – counter the idea of jammed situations?
O PENING SPACE Space, place and construction of meanings How are space en place contributing to disability as social construction? What is the meaning of spaces (eg. Isolation rooms) and places (eg. Place on a waiting list)? On which apparent conflicting ways are people (re)presented and (re)presenting themselves (from stucked to mobile subjects)?
O PENING SPACE Space, place and relations How can space enable or limit interactions en relations? Who are significant others in the natural and professional networks of people? How are space and place defining processes of inclusion/participation/belonging and processes of exclusion/marginalization/othering? -> Exploring intimate social and spatial worlds of people: less traditional creative research approaches (cf. disability studies)