Disability and gender : Autonomy as an indication of adulthood

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: The overall aim of this dissertation was initially to examine the relationship between a continuedrequirement of practical assistance in adult life and autonomy. As the work has proceeded, thefocus has come to increasingly be on identifying social obstacles to autonomy, particularly fordisabled young women.The fast part deals with the transition from adolescence to adulthood for physically disabledyoung people. Some of the questions raised in this study are developed further in thesucceeding three articles. The first article (Part II) focuses on physically disabled girls/youngwomen and how they internalize societal norms and values. The interest is on how these normsand values affect the possibility to autonomy in everyday life for the young women. The secondarticle (Part III) emhasizes the importance of a gender perspective in educational research ondisability. The third article (Part IV) deals with ethical problems in qualitative social research onmarginalized groups.The comprehensive summary consists of a discussion on the research process in this work.The methodological approach has been qualitative interviews with 24 physically disabled youngpeople. The summary also includes a discussion on the chosen theoretical perspective, i.e.social constructionism, and a brief overview of some of the results in this work. Then follows adiscussion on the results in a somewhat broader societal framework. Finally them is a briefsummary of the different parts of the dissertation.

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