Mills’s idea of the sociological imagination has captured many generations of scholars interested in the difficult social issues that people grapple with in their lives. Yet, sociology has traditionally had a poor record of linking disabled people’s ‘private’ accounts of their difficulties to ‘public’ issues. We contend that disability is still marginal to the sociological imaginary, despite attempts by disability studies and subdisciplines within sociology to make the concept relevant to the larger discipline. There is a range of conceptual tensions in sociology such as public/private and normal/abnormal that can be better illuminated by focusing on disability. We argue that critical disability studies, with its reimagining of disability within late modernity, may be better positioned to make more effectively the case for disability’s significance to the sociological imaginary. Facilitating dialogue with sociology on the concept of disability, however, may require disability scholars to develop more explicit strategies of engagement.
Field of Research
169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
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