Workspaces: Refiguring the disability-employment debate

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There is no doubt that disabled people are in a disadvantaged position in relation to employment in Britain. More disabled people are unemployed, in lower status occupations, on low earnings, or out of the labour market altogether, than nondisabled people (Martin et al. 1989; Berthoud et al. 1993; Labour Force Survey 1997). However, it is less clear why this situation has occurred, how it happens and what makes change so difficult. This chapter aims to provide a starting point for understanding this situation. There are three parts to this ‘refiguring’ of the disability-employment debate: first, a questioning of the two main interpretations of the disability-employment relation; second, introducing the social theorising of ‘the body’ into both the disability and the employment debates; and third, through a case study, using the theory of the ‘body’ to develop an embodied and spatialised understanding of the disability-employment debate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMind and Body Spaces
Subtitle of host publicationGeographies of Illness, Impairment and Disability
EditorsRuth Butler, Hester Parr
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780203979662
ISBN (Print)0203979664
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 1999


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