Disability and social justice

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This article explores the significance of disability for social justice, using Nancy Fraser’s theory of justice as a guideline. The article argues that the disability perspective is essential for understanding and promoting social justice, although it is often disregarded by critical thinkers and social activists. The article looks at three prominent strategies for achieving social justice under conditions of capitalism: economically, by decommodifying labour; culturally, by deconstructing self-sufficiency; and politically, by transnationalising democracy. The disability perspective reveals that decommodification of labour requires enhancement of disability support, deconstruction of self-sufficiency requires valorisation of disability-illuminated interdependence, and transnationalisation of democracy requires scrutiny of the transnational production of impairments. The article discusses each of these strategies in theoretical and practical terms by drawing on disability studies and Fraser’s analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1226–1241
Number of pages17
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2016


  • disability
  • social justice
  • Nancy Fraser
  • decommodification
  • interdependence
  • transnational democracy


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