Not like us? Wolfensberger’s ‘major historic roles’ reconsidered

Mathews, Ian (2017) Not like us? Wolfensberger’s ‘major historic roles’ reconsidered. Disability & Society, 32 (9). pp. 1351-1365. ISSN 0968-7599

27776.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


This interdisciplinary article revisits and re-evaluates an element of conceptual theory devised by Wolf Wolfensberger (1934–2011), one of the founding fathers of disability studies. Wolfensberger devised a typology which sought to historically position the ways in which disabled people, particularly those with intellectual impairments, have been viewed, perceived, stigmatised and (mis)used by wider society. Given that the academic, professional and practical landscape of disability studies has changed markedly over the last several decades, it is useful to revisit and reinterpret past ideas to test their ability to inform our current understandings. Using two recent examples from the United Kingdom of when care provision for people with intellectual impairments and complex needs has gone wrong, this article re-evaluates Wolfensberger’s typology and concludes that it remains of relevance and should continue to inform our thinking.

Additional Information:Learning from the Past: Building the Future
Keywords:Disability, Wolfensberger, Winterbourne View
Subjects:L Social studies > L500 Social Work
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
Related URLs:
ID Code:27776
Deposited On:29 Jun 2017 20:14

Repository Staff Only: item control page