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Critical Analysis of Primary Arguments and Limitations in Disability Studies in Education within the United States

  • Journal of Special Education: Theory and Practice
  • Abbr : JSPED
  • 2023, 24(4), pp.37-62
  • Publisher : Research Institute of the Korea Special Education
  • Research Area : Social Science > Education
  • Received : November 9, 2023
  • Accepted : November 30, 2023
  • Published : December 31, 2023

Lee Ju-Hwa 1

1소속없음

Accredited

ABSTRACT

[Purpose] This article critically examines prominent studies in the field of Disability Studies in Education (DSE) in the United States, analyzing their primary arguments and limitations. [Methods] A comprehensive literature review was conducted, focusing on significant studies within the Disability Studies in Education Special Interest Group (DSE-SIG) of the American Educational Research Association(AERA). [Results] DSE challenges the positivist paradigm prevalent in special and inclusive education, offering a social constructionist perspective on disability. DSE scholars critique the oppressive mechanisms of fictional norms that establish hierarchical binary categories, leading to marginalization of indivisuals labeled with disabilities. They perceive difference as a natural facet of human variation and advocate for its recognition and celebration. However, these alternative perspectives offered by DSE exhibit certain limitations. While critiquing the adverse impacts of norms and categories used by scholars of special and inclusive education, they simultaneously demonstrate crypto-normative tendencies themselves and employ categories they aim to deconstruct, resulting in self-contradiction. To circumvent this contradiction, they can only assume the role of observers without proposing viable alternatives. [Conclusion] Normative judgments and categorizations play a crucial role in discussing and addressing disability-related issues, such as discrimination and exclusion. A neutral stance on differences or the mere normalization of differences proves to be inadequate in resolving disability-related challenges. When existing policies and institutions fall short, the solution does not entail dismantling norms, but rather involves making more informed judgments and presenting improved alternatives.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.