This article asserts that disability can be understood more holistically if the paradigmatic stance employed to research it encompasses individual constructivism and social constructionism in tandem (thereby creating the constructivist paradigm). Adopting the constructivist paradigm allows researchers to better evaluate how internal and external understandings of disability are framed. It asserts that the clashing of separate constructivist and constructionist understandings of disability create ‘crip-dissonance’ – a lack of mutual understanding of disability and disabled lives between disabled and non-disabled people. Using a constructivist paradigm can, however, be instrumental in recognising the creation of disability as a social construct, and thereby understanding that the reality of disability is created through perception. The article also explains that in the current UK socio-political climate, the constructivist paradigm can contribute towards moving understandings of disability beyond passive awareness to an active tool against dis/ableism and discrimination.
- Constructivist paradigm