Sociometric methods and difference: a force for good - or yet more harm?
Disability & Society, 28, (7), . (doi:10.1080/09687599.2012.741517).
This paper offers a critique of sociometrics as a ubiquitous method of measuring social relationships among children in social groups such as school classes. This is important in relation to disability politics and research as the apparently scientific measures are frequently used in the process of labelling children or predisposing the children involved, or others involved with them, to view disabled and other children in particular ways. We open a debate about judgements concerning whether the use of sociometric techniques needs to be better informed by questions about the underpinning normalising frameworks on which they depend, about the connotations of blame associated with particular sociometric statuses, and about the way that research constructs difficulties and reflects an adult agenda, marginalising the voices of (disabled) children. We argue for the value of the transactional turn in understanding the implications of this approach and for highlighting alternative perspectives.
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