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My Existence is Resistance: Exploring spaces and forms of disability activism in the United Kingdom during a time of austerity

My Existence is Resistance: Exploring spaces and forms of disability activism in the United Kingdom during a time of austerity
My Existence is Resistance: Exploring spaces and forms of disability activism in the United Kingdom during a time of austerity
With the onset of austerity, disabled people in the United Kingdom have faced a sustained period of financial cuts, including cuts to personal income, social care and advocacy organisations. Many individuals have found themselves in increasingly precarious situations, having to rely increasingly on non-statutory, more informal structures of care. Disabled people, however, have not accepted these changes in silence but have often been vocal in their opposition to these cuts. Opposition and resistance can be seen through increased lobbying, the establishing of disability anti-austerity protest groups and the emergence of numerous online campaigns. Austerity has been accompanied by a recent growth in disability activism, as individuals find ways of resisting and coping under increasingly difficult conditions. To date, there has been very limited documentation or analysis of the political struggles of disability activists during a time of austerity. Through adopting a qualitative approach, this study examines the lives of those involved in disability activism, and the places in which their activism is enacted. The findings are drawn from 27 biographical interviews and participant observation at 13 disability activist events. Rather than being a representative study, this research seeks to provide a deep and nuanced insight into the lives of a small number of disabled people who are engaging in activism in response to austerity. It is hoped that this thesis will serve as a form of activism in itself, as a space in which stories can be both shared and heard and used as a possible resource for future generations.
University of Southampton
Butler-Rees, Angharad
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Butler-Rees, Angharad
7b2dc53b-44db-41ec-97f5-1346669818fa
Power, Andrew
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Wilkinson, Eleanor
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Butler-Rees, Angharad (2020) My Existence is Resistance: Exploring spaces and forms of disability activism in the United Kingdom during a time of austerity. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 241pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

With the onset of austerity, disabled people in the United Kingdom have faced a sustained period of financial cuts, including cuts to personal income, social care and advocacy organisations. Many individuals have found themselves in increasingly precarious situations, having to rely increasingly on non-statutory, more informal structures of care. Disabled people, however, have not accepted these changes in silence but have often been vocal in their opposition to these cuts. Opposition and resistance can be seen through increased lobbying, the establishing of disability anti-austerity protest groups and the emergence of numerous online campaigns. Austerity has been accompanied by a recent growth in disability activism, as individuals find ways of resisting and coping under increasingly difficult conditions. To date, there has been very limited documentation or analysis of the political struggles of disability activists during a time of austerity. Through adopting a qualitative approach, this study examines the lives of those involved in disability activism, and the places in which their activism is enacted. The findings are drawn from 27 biographical interviews and participant observation at 13 disability activist events. Rather than being a representative study, this research seeks to provide a deep and nuanced insight into the lives of a small number of disabled people who are engaging in activism in response to austerity. It is hoped that this thesis will serve as a form of activism in itself, as a space in which stories can be both shared and heard and used as a possible resource for future generations.

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My Existence is Resistance: Exploring spaces and forms of disability activism in the United Kingdom during a time of austerity - Version of Record
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Angharad Butler-Rees - Permission to deposit thesis
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Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

More information

Published date: 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451383
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451383
PURE UUID: e12fc9b1-7fe7-4d05-8922-6ea806abff11
ORCID for Andrew Power: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3887-1050

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Sep 2021 16:34
Last modified: 23 Sep 2021 03:29

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Contributors

Author: Angharad Butler-Rees
Thesis advisor: Andrew Power ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Eleanor Wilkinson

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