Constructing ‘disability’ in Myanmar: teachers, community stakeholders, and the complexity of disability models

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This article explores Myanmar teachers’ and community stakeholders’ constructions of disability. We examine how various religious perspectives – particularly Buddhism – inform and shape understandings of impairment and how these beliefs intersect with a strongly medicalised construction of disability. However, in our discussion and exploration of the responses, we also found that the notion of two primary disability ‘models’ – namely the medical model and the social model – lack nuance, complexity, and socio-cultural consideration. Through examining teachers’ and community members’ perspectives of disability in Myanmar, we highlight the importance of socio-cultural variance in understanding local constructions of disability.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-884
Number of pages22
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number6
Early online date25 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Mar 2019


  • Myanmar, disability, teachers, medical model, Buddhism, Global South