Redefining Boundaries and Extending Horizons
Edited By Shridevi Rao and Maya Kalyanpur
Chapter 13: Conclusion
In no way can we claim that this book presents an exhaustive review of the disability experience in South Asia. South Asia is by no means a monolithic region. It is diverse and so is the disability experience there. We have tried to capture some facets of the disability experience toward a deeper exploration and the possibilities for conversation between the broader field of disability studies and South Asia. Such an exploration is not simple or easy. Constructions of disability in South Asia no longer fit snugly into neat little categories of the lens of “karma” or “fate” and resist being circumscribed within a unitary theoretical framework, while the structures of caste, gender, and poverty add further layers of complexity to the experience. The politics of development and the increasing role of international aid agencies in influencing disability policy and practice against a historical landscape of colonization further compound the issue. Using the two primary Northern constructions of disability, the social model and the development/ geodisability model, as our basic framework, in this chapter we raise some questions and identify certain themes. In the process of doing so, we argue that the time has come for moving beyond Northern constructions of disability.
At the core of the growth of disability studies as a field has been the social model. It has played an important role in shaping the international discourse on disability and has been credited with precipitating considerable change including mobilizing the disability rights movement, identifying barriers,...
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