Wheelchair users and housing in Dundee: the social construction and spatiality of disability
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The thesis examines the experiences and perceptions of wheelchair users living in different types and tenures of housing in the City of Dundee. The interrelationships between space, society and the body are examined in the empirical context of housing, ableism and the disabled body. The voices of wheelchair users, gleaned from in-depth, semi-structured interviews, are used throughout the thesis to illustrate how the geographies of people with disabilities are delineated and constrained by socio-cultural representations of disability. Conceptually the study has been guided by the social model of disability, but insights from postmodernism and feminist literature are drawn on to add a further dimension to the interpretation of the data and the study's methodology. The social construction of difference, social exclusion and definitions of the normal and aberrant body emerge as key concepts linking analysis of the data at the spatial scales of the neighbourhood, home and the body. Spatial metaphors of 'out of place', 'marginalised' or 'socio-spatially excluded' capture the essence of the impressions people with disabilities hold of their interactions with their living spaces and service providers. The study suggests that greater reciprocal dialogue is required between service users and service providers to broaden the knowledge base from which disability related housing decisions are made.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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