Epistemic injustice as a bridge between medical sociology and disability studies

Teodor Mladenov (Lead / Corresponding author), Ina Dimitrova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores the potential of the perspective of epistemic injustice to reconcile medical sociology’s attention to the micro level of experience and interpersonal exchange, and disability studies’ focus on the macro level of oppressive structures. The first part of the paper provides an overview of the concept of epistemic injustice and its key instances – testimonial, hermeneutical, and contributory injustice. We also consider previous applications of the concept in the fields of healthcare and disability, and we contextualise our investigation by discussing key features of postsocialism from the perspective of epistemic injustice. In the second part, we explore specific epistemic injustices experienced by people who use disability support by drawing on interviews and focus groups conducted with parents of disabled children in present-day Bulgaria. In our conclusion, we revisit our methodological and theoretical points about the potential of epistemic injustice to facilitate mutually beneficial exchanges between medical sociology and disability studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Pages (from-to)1146-1163
Number of pages18
JournalSociology of Health & Illness
Issue number6
Early online date26 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • disability rights
  • epistemic injustice
  • parental advocacy
  • postsocialism
  • professional power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


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