A call to rethink the Global North university: mobilising disabled students’ experiences through the encounter of Critical Disability Studies and Epistemologies of the South

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Abstract

In the 1970s, disabled people and other marginalised social groups battled an exclusionary Global North university. Disability Studies emerged from those struggles as epistemologies shaped around a Westernised understanding of disability and inequalities, based on dialectic visions of progress and subjective liberation. Today, the advance of neoliberalism in universities, and its connection with colonial legacies, are embedded in different historical contingencies, and disabled students face new forms of discrimination. By merging analytical approaches from post-structural Critical Disability Studies and Epistemologies of the South, this article draws upon interviews with disabled students conducted in an Italian university to explore how neoliberal and capitalistic practices exclude certain knowledges and modalities of being university students. Through disabled students’ experiences, the article advances epistemologies that encompass processes of decolonisation and de-ableism of the university and argues for the Global North university to be an institution that can democratically reconcile polyhedral subjective possibilities of being.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sociology
Early online date6 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • ableism
  • decolonial
  • disability
  • epistemology
  • struggle
  • subjectivities
  • university

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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