Disabled voices from the margins : experiencing inclusion as forms of exclusion

Liz Atkins

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper explores the tension between the policies and practice of Inclusion and the lived experiences of disabled young people in education. Drawing on empirical data gained from a small scale study of young people with Special Educational Needs, the paper utilises theoretical concepts around disability, structure and agency and power and control as it explores the ways in which inclusion can create subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) forms of exclusion. The arguments in the paper are supported by reference to the ‘little stories’ of the young people who participated in the study, with a key focus on the experiences of Tom, a young man who has moved in and out of Mainstream education across all phases from nursery to University. The paper argues that Inclusive practices and policies, however well intentioned, can create new and subtle forms of marginalisation through the structures and discourse intended to address exclusion. It goes on to suggest that, in this way, inclusion comes to form part of the complex and multi-layered behaviours, structures and social practices that we refer to as exclusion. It concludes by questioning whether, in a diverse and disparate society, in which all our lives are defined by the extent to which we are more or less equal than others, inclusion can ever be anything other than an illusory concept.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
EventDiscourse Power and Resistance Conference 2013 - Greenwich
Duration: 1 Apr 2013 → …

Conference

ConferenceDiscourse Power and Resistance Conference 2013
Period1/04/13 → …

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