A “Mad” Critique of the Social Model of Disability

By Essya M. Nabbali.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The social model of disability (SMD) has hitherto not fully considered the nature and extent of “sanism,” or psychiatric oppression, despite its emancipatory potential. Yet, there has been little debate about the applicability of this conjectural framework to mad activism. This paper raises these issues through the voice of those who are or have been on the receiving end of the mental health system. In so doing, it explores the multifaceted – common but distinct – concerns among disabled and mad people as a basis for prompting new, collaborative alliances in the reconciliation of humanity and its translation into a more truly pragmatic cosmopolitanism.

Keywords: Social Model of Disability (SMD), Madness, Mad Activism, Disability Rights Movement, Sanism (or Psychiatric Oppression), Ableism (or Disablement)

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1010.078KB).

Essya M. Nabbali

Doctoral Student, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Essya M. Nabbali is a doctoral student in Sociology at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada. Her primary interests span the fields of identity politics, cultural pluralism, human rights, and grassroots pedagogy, particularly within public health and medical sociology. Essya has presented academic papers on these themes at the provincial, federal, and international levels. The research for this article was conducted during her tenure as an MA student at York University, Ontario, Canada, under the remarkable tutelage of historian Geoffrey Reaume.


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