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Disability and the Implications of the Wellbeing Agenda: Some Reflections from the United Kingdom

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2008

CLAIRE EDWARDS
Affiliation:
Department of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland email: claire.edwards@ucc.ie
ROB IMRIE
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS email: rob.imrie@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

A wellbeing agenda has emerged in government that seeks to promote a ‘politics of happiness’, in which citizens are, as the New Economics Foundation put it, ‘happy, healthy, capable and engaged’ (2004: 2). This article explores the wellbeing agenda in the UK, and its implications for disabled people. We argue that it is unlikely, in its present form, to contribute to the development of social theoretical, or more politically progressive, analysis and understanding of disablement in society. This is because of the emphasis on biologism, personality and character traits, and a policy prognosis that revolves around self-help and therapy, or individuated actions and (self) responsibilities.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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