Arts, Disability and Crip Theory: Temporal Re-Imagining in Social Care for People with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities

Susan Levy, Hannah Young

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Abstract

People with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) are some of the most marginalised in society and are perceived to lack agency. This paper contests such a narrative, presenting findings from an innovative project in Scotland, UK, exploring the impact of artists working collaboratively with people with PMLD and their formal carers. Art is conceived as a social practice, a process, an embodied aesthetic and sensory experience that takes place between individuals. Theoretically, the paper adopts an original approach, combining crip theory, the capability approach and social pedagogy to re-imagine and re-position people with PMLD. The year-long qualitative study used data from reflective diaries (n = 111) and semi-structured interviews (n = 9) with artists, carers and management of a day centre. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of these shared experiences was used. The results reveal an unsettling of prevailing norms and creative ways of doing and experiencing social care that is relational.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-79
Number of pages12
JournalScandinavian Journal of Disability Research
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Arts
  • Capability approach
  • Crip theory
  • Profound and multiple learning disabilities
  • Relational social care
  • Social pedagogy

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