A right not to work and disabled people

Chris Grover, Linda Piggott

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    With the rise of industrial capitalism from the late 18th century, wage labour was organised in such a way that it disabled impaired people by excluding them from the one activity – wage labour – by which people were expected to secure their income. However, the current mix of neoliberal economics and communitarian-based notions of obligation that drive welfare ‘reform’ in the Britain oblige disabled people to work. This obligation to work is enforced through economic and social less eligibility that puts disabled people in a position where materially and culturally they have little choice but to engage with work. However, wage work – that by its very nature is exploitative – can be considered to be disabling and a right not to work is as defensible for disabled people as a right to work. An alternative view is that socially necessary activity that is self determined, freely entered into and based on greater choice and control could provide a way forward that does not define ‘social value’ solely as ‘productive value’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDisabled People, Work and Welfare
    Subtitle of host publication Is Employment Really the Answer?
    EditorsChris Grover, Linda Piggot
    PublisherPolicy Press
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9781447318354
    ISBN (Print)9781447318323, 9781447318330
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


    • capitalism
    • communitarian
    • disable people
    • less eligibility
    • neoliberal
    • productive value
    • right not to work
    • wage work
    • welfare reform

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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