Redefining Boundaries and Extending Horizons
Edited By Shridevi Rao and Maya Kalyanpur
Chapter 1: South Asia and Disability Studies: Time for a Conversation
The contribution of disability studies is invaluable. Originating from grassroots movements, it has precipitated a discourse that has crossed disciplinary boundaries and challenged dominant orthodoxies. It has revolutionized the way we think about disability and questioned the assumptions that underlie traditional models of understanding disability. However, in the current context of globalization and international development, it also raises questions such as: Is this model universal? How does it respond to the disability experience in a global context? To what extent are the analytical lenses it offers applicable to other social, cultural, and economic contexts, and specifically the countries that constitute South Asia (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh)? By examining these questions, we hope that this book provides the impetus for a conversation between disability studies and South Asia that can expand, enrich, and invigorate existing theoretical frameworks or even contribute new frameworks of understanding in this area. We believe that the time has come for such a conversation. A rich body of scholarship that provides a complex view of disability in South Asia has developed in recent years. Our purpose in this book is to bring some of this scholarship to the center of the discourse.
This book presents glimpses of the disability experience within a defined region—South Asia—covering an area that is neither too broad (such as international perspectives on disability) nor too specific (such as an individual country). In doing so, it tries to delineate new boundaries and navigate between the broad...
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