Embodied Selves in Transition: Disabled Young

Currently, we do not know much about what it is like for young people with physical disabilities to transition into adolescence, how a physical disability can interact with their changing body and complicate societal assumptions about how an adolescent looks and behaves, and what all of this might mean for them.

The project explores the embodied selves of disabled young people. Its focus is on how this group creates meaning from and via their bodies, how the body plays a role in their engagement with the social and material world, and how embodiment is influenced by their social transition into adolescence. A particular aspect of the work is to consider how they define, understand and manage pain, which may be a symptom of physical disability.

The project involves a variety of methods which bring together digital and textual data and modes of analysis, including qualitative interviews, digital photography and social networking. This approach to the research is influenced by a research panel of disabled young people, who will help develop the methodology and analysis.

Date: Mar 2011 – Feb 2013

Funding: ESRC: The Economic and Social Research Council. £227,511

Researchers: Janice McLaughlin (PI) – Geography, Politics and Sociology, Allan Colver (Institute of Health & Society),  and Patrick Olivier (CIs).
Gavin Wood, Dan Jackson, Cas Ladha, Jayne Wallace, Edmund Coleman-Fountain, Abigail Durrant – Geography, Politics and Sociology.