DRF News

Reminder: A Week of ‘Disability’ Events (May, 2014: Sheffield, UK)

If you are in/around Sheffield next week and are into ‘disability’, you are certainly in for a treat. There are 3 events (detailed below) which might just take your fancy. Info below.

Event 1: the next (and final for this academic year) DRF seminar

Date/Time: Wednesday, 7th May 2014 (10.30am-12.30pm)

Slot 1:  Joshua Sawiuk (Univ. of Leeds, UK): The Importance of the Social Life for Disabled Students in Higher Education

Slot 2: Charlotte Jones (Univ. of Sheffield, UK): Intersex and/as Disability: Exploring the tensions between identity, medicalisation and social justice

Venue: The seminar will be held in Room 10110 (first floor) of the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.

To offer to present in 2014-2015 seminars or for more detailed access information please contact: Rebecca Mallett: r.mallett@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 4669 or Jenny Slater: j.slater@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 6691.

Event 2: Symposium: Disability and Austerity: Pan-national Reflections

Date/Time: Thursday, 8th May 2014 (2pm-5pm)

Venue: University of Sheffield – Education Building, Room 1.02.

Event 3: Gender and Disability: Asking Difficult Questions

Date: Saturday, 10th May 2014

Venue: University of Sheffield- Humanities Research Institute (HRI), 34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY.

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DRF News

Symposium: Disability and Austerity: Pan-national Reflections (May, 2014: Sheffield, UK)

Event: Symposium: Disability and Austerity: Pan-national Reflections

Date/Time: 8th May 2014   2pm-5pm

Venue: University of Sheffield – Education Building, Room 1.02. http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/maps/education

Description: The symposium will include the following brief presentations to spark debate and conversation:

  • Dan Goodley (University of Sheffield, UK): Defining and contesting austerity
  • Nick Hodge (Sheffield Hallam University, UK): The impact of austerity on the aspirations of people with autism
  • Katherine Runswick Cole (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK): Cruel optimism and disability
  • Susana Rojas Pernia (University of Cantabria, Spain): Disability barriers in Spain
  • Rebecca Lawthom (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK): Revolting subjects and austerity

If you would like to attend please email d.goodley@sheffield.ac.uk

If you like the sound of this… also consider coming to the May DRF seminar. Details below.

Wednesday, 7th May 2014: 10.30am-12.30pm – Arundel 10111 (SHU)

Slot 1:  Joshua Sawiuk (Univ of Leeds, UK): The Importance of the Social Life for Disabled Students in Higher Education

Slot 2: Charlotte Jones (Univ. of Sheffield, UK): Intersex and/as Disability: Exploring the tensions between identity, medicalisation and social justice

DRF News

New Project: Big Society? Disabled People with learning disabilities and Civil Society

Austerity, cuts in services, rising debt and hate crime: could life get any worse for people with learning disabilities? A new project is looking at opportunities, possibilities, interconnections, resources and support in civil society occupied by people labeled with learning disabilities. Four university partners (Manchester Metropolitan University; The University of Sheffield; Northumbria University, and the University of Bristol) will work with three organisations of and for disabled people (Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities; Speak Up Self Advocacy and independent living consultants) who want to engage communities, promote inclusion and self-advocacy. In these times of Big Society and austerity we ask: how can people with learning disabilities live a good life?

You can follow the project via our blog: http://bigsocietydis.wordpress.com/ or on Twitter @BigSocietyDis

Contact: k.runswick-cole@mmu.ac.uk for more information.

DRF News

CFP: ‘Living With Social Categories: Ethnicity, Mental Health, and Learning Disability in An Age Of Austerity’ Conference (June, UK)

Title: Living With Social Categories: Ethnicity, Mental Health, and Learning Disability in An Age Of Austerity

Date: 18th June 2012

Place: The Open University, Milton Keynes

Key Note Speaker: Professor James Nazroo (University of Manchester, UK)

Chair: Professor Richard Jenkins (University of Sheffield, UK)

Brief Description: This one day interdisciplinary conference seeks to re-ignite debates about the lived consequences of the category of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) in statutory services. Using mental health (MH) and Learning Disability (LD) as reference points the conference will explore fresh understandings and theorisations for how BME plays out within the care/control function of the state. Conference organisers acknowledge that ‘Learning Disability’ is contested by advocacy groups; however it is employed here to reflect its use in statutory services. 

The conference is hosted by the Faculty of Health and Social Care (The Open University) and the Race and Ethnicity Study Group (British Sociological Association).

Background: Notwithstanding recent advancements, there remains a disjuncture between theory and praxis in the sociology literature on ethnicity. While it is now accepted that ethnicity is an ontologically unstable category (Alexander 2006), writers arguably over-emphasise ethnicity qua ethnicity at the expense of material and psychic consequences of ethnic categorisations (Carter and Fenton, 2011). However there is long-standing evidence that the category BME has consequences for lived experience in statutory services where the state’s care/control function is thrown into sharp focus. Consequently although less likely to receive welfare services, BMEs are over-represented in the coercive aspects of ‘caring’ services. In MH and LD for instance, some BME groups are less likely to access preventative services but more likely to be detained for involuntary treatment (Mir et al, 2001; Care Quality Commission and National Mental Health Development Unit, 2011). Thus ‘[p]aradoxically, they receive the MH services they don’t want, but not the ones they do or might want’ (Keating and Robertson, 2004, p446). While the applied literature has helpfully evidenced these inequalities, it struggles to satisfactorily operationalise ethnicity to reflect current substantive understandings of fluidity (Nazroo, 2011; Salway et al 2009, 2011). The present age of austerity is likely to exacerbate longstanding inequalities, hence the timely need to refocus on the sociological processes which lead to embodiment of social categories such as BME, MH, and LD.      

We welcome papers from postgraduate and early career researchers that address the following themes:

  • What sociological theories are useful in explaining/could explain the disproportionate representation of BME in MH and LD services?
  • What are the possibilities, limitations and challenges of using ethnic categorisations to describe and explain inequalities in the provision of statutory services? Is an integrative (or intersectional) approach more useful?
  • Interrogating the category of BME: Although widely used in applied studies, BME is rarely explored critically. What is the history of the category; whose interests does it serve?
  • Spaces of care/control: ‘Space’ could be geographical, virtual, material, and mental – how is care/control operationalised; what are the mechanisms?
  • How can the gap between theory and practice be reduced? Is it an issue of dissemination? If so, how can this be bridged?

Deadline for abstract submission: 1st May 2012

BSA members and non-members, please contact Godfred Boahen (g.f.boahen@open.ac.uk) to reserve a place at the conference