Towards a DisHuman Civil Society

  • Dan GoodleyEmail author
  • Rebecca Lawthom
  • Kirsty Liddiard
  • Katherine Runswick-Cole


In what ways does a consideration of the politics of dis/ability permit a rethink of community membership, participation and engagement with civil society? What are the implications for the daily lives of dis/abled people, their families and their supporters? How might dis/ability permit us to (re)think political agitation, community identity and everyday activism? Concurrently, we are working with a number of civil society partners who are disrupting normative notions of what civil society means. In this chapter, we start by examining the nature of civil society after it has been touched by the processes associated with neoliberal capitalism. We then start to explore some affirmative and resistant possibilities offered by civil society in these dangerous times. Our search leads us, inevitably, to the politics of dis/ability and the potential of dis/ability to rethink the workings of civil society as a DisHuman project (Goodley D, Runswick-Cole K, Discourse Stud Cult Pol Educ. Online publication., 2014). We conclude by arguing that any consideration of civil society has to ask questions about the kinds of human beings that are valued at the heart of this civility. Dis/ability is the space through which to rethink the human, the civil and society.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Goodley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rebecca Lawthom
    • 2
  • Kirsty Liddiard
    • 1
  • Katherine Runswick-Cole
    • 1
  1. 1.iHuman, School of EducationUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Research Institute for Health and Social Change Psychology DepartmentManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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