Caring for independent lives: geographies of caring for young adults with intellectual disabilities
[in special issue: Ethics and the ethnography of medical research in Africa]
Social Science & Medicine, 67, (5), . (doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.05.023). (PMID:18573581).
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This paper engages with the emerging disciplinary clash between ‘care’ and ‘independence’ within disability studies by examining the geography of home care for young adults with intellectual disabilities. The care system as a whole is viewed as central to disablist structures within disability studies (see Thomas, C. (2007). Sociologies of disability and illness: Contested ideas in disability studies and medical sociology. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.). However, despite the theorisation of dependency as being in antipathy to the goals of the disability movement, caregiving at home still continues to dominate community care. The paper attempts to address how family carers are ‘caught-in-the-middle’ between their ‘duty’ to care and at the same time, perpetuating dependency; the reality being that parents have to deal with issues of being overprotective and confronting various social assumptions about disability. It examines the narratives from 25 family caregivers in Ireland who provide personal assistance to young adults with intellectual disabilities.
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