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The making of the activist disabled subject: disability and political activism in English higher education

Peruzzo, Francesca; Raaper, Rille

Authors

Francesca Peruzzo



Abstract

Drawing on a Foucauldian theorisation and an in-depth study with eight disabled student activists in England, this paper explores how persistent marginalisation and ableism in higher education has triggered a wave of activism among disabled students, who, just before the advent of the pandemic, had organised a structured movement, Disabled Students UK. We employ Foucault’s ideas of the care of the self and others to discuss the formation of disabled students as activist subjects fighting discrimination in English higher education, in a moment in which the intersection between inclusive policies and austerity measures exposed the ableism rooted in academic practices. This paper promotes discussion on the nurturing relationship that exists between the individual and the community in constituting disability activism and disabled activists.

Citation

Peruzzo, F., & Raaper, R. (2024). The making of the activist disabled subject: disability and political activism in English higher education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 45(2), 173-186. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2023.2271406

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 12, 2023
Online Publication Date Oct 22, 2023
Publication Date 2024
Deposit Date Oct 31, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 23, 2025
Journal Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
Print ISSN 0159-6306
Electronic ISSN 1469-3739
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 2
Pages 173-186
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2023.2271406
Keywords Linguistics and Language; Social Sciences (miscellaneous); Education
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1871988