The multiple meanings of disability in interviews with lower limb amputees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract



The link between having a lower-limb amputation and being disabled might seem self-evident. Indeed, the medical model of disability would suggest that lower-limb amputation causes disability, and that all lower-limb amputees are disabled people. Conversely, social models of disability would argue that limb loss does not determine disability, but that disabilities are rather caused by social structures and prejudices, while the interactional model suggests that there are both individual and social causes of disability. This paper draws on interviews with nine lower-limb amputees to address amputees’ own accounts of disability, in order to determine how (if at all) they make links between being an amputee and being disabled. The analysis shows that participants draw on various models of disability, as well as their own lived experiences, to construct subjective and diverse definitions of disability. Three interlinking definitions of disability recurred across the data: disability as a measure of personal (in)abilities; disability as a stigmatizing mask; and disability as an official status. Overall, disability was constructed as a complex, context-dependent label, which could not be reduced to any singular concept.
LanguageEnglish
Pages129-139
Number of pages11
JournalCommunication and Medicine
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Amputees
Lower Extremity
Interviews
Amputation
Aptitude
Masks
Extremities

Cite this

@article{0b12216879fa4725a37a6ce43e0cfd44,
title = "The multiple meanings of disability in interviews with lower limb amputees",
abstract = "The link between having a lower-limb amputation and being disabled might seem self-evident. Indeed, the medical model of disability would suggest that lower-limb amputation causes disability, and that all lower-limb amputees are disabled people. Conversely, social models of disability would argue that limb loss does not determine disability, but that disabilities are rather caused by social structures and prejudices, while the interactional model suggests that there are both individual and social causes of disability. This paper draws on interviews with nine lower-limb amputees to address amputees’ own accounts of disability, in order to determine how (if at all) they make links between being an amputee and being disabled. The analysis shows that participants draw on various models of disability, as well as their own lived experiences, to construct subjective and diverse definitions of disability. Three interlinking definitions of disability recurred across the data: disability as a measure of personal (in)abilities; disability as a stigmatizing mask; and disability as an official status. Overall, disability was constructed as a complex, context-dependent label, which could not be reduced to any singular concept.",
author = "Emily Heavey",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1558/cam.v10i2.129",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
pages = "129--139",
journal = "Communication and Medicine",
issn = "1612-1783",
publisher = "De Gruyter Mouton",
number = "2",

}

The multiple meanings of disability in interviews with lower limb amputees. / Heavey, Emily.

In: Communication and Medicine, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2013, p. 129-139.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The multiple meanings of disability in interviews with lower limb amputees

AU - Heavey, Emily

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The link between having a lower-limb amputation and being disabled might seem self-evident. Indeed, the medical model of disability would suggest that lower-limb amputation causes disability, and that all lower-limb amputees are disabled people. Conversely, social models of disability would argue that limb loss does not determine disability, but that disabilities are rather caused by social structures and prejudices, while the interactional model suggests that there are both individual and social causes of disability. This paper draws on interviews with nine lower-limb amputees to address amputees’ own accounts of disability, in order to determine how (if at all) they make links between being an amputee and being disabled. The analysis shows that participants draw on various models of disability, as well as their own lived experiences, to construct subjective and diverse definitions of disability. Three interlinking definitions of disability recurred across the data: disability as a measure of personal (in)abilities; disability as a stigmatizing mask; and disability as an official status. Overall, disability was constructed as a complex, context-dependent label, which could not be reduced to any singular concept.

AB - The link between having a lower-limb amputation and being disabled might seem self-evident. Indeed, the medical model of disability would suggest that lower-limb amputation causes disability, and that all lower-limb amputees are disabled people. Conversely, social models of disability would argue that limb loss does not determine disability, but that disabilities are rather caused by social structures and prejudices, while the interactional model suggests that there are both individual and social causes of disability. This paper draws on interviews with nine lower-limb amputees to address amputees’ own accounts of disability, in order to determine how (if at all) they make links between being an amputee and being disabled. The analysis shows that participants draw on various models of disability, as well as their own lived experiences, to construct subjective and diverse definitions of disability. Three interlinking definitions of disability recurred across the data: disability as a measure of personal (in)abilities; disability as a stigmatizing mask; and disability as an official status. Overall, disability was constructed as a complex, context-dependent label, which could not be reduced to any singular concept.

U2 - 10.1558/cam.v10i2.129

DO - 10.1558/cam.v10i2.129

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 129

EP - 139

JO - Communication and Medicine

T2 - Communication and Medicine

JF - Communication and Medicine

SN - 1612-1783

IS - 2

ER -