The first comprehensive volume to integrate social-scientific literature on the origins and manifestations of prejudice against disabled people
Ableism, prejudice against disabled people stereotyped as incompetent and dependent, can elicit a range of reactions that include fear, contempt, pity, and inspiration. Current literature—often narrowly focused on a specific aspect of the subject or limited in scope to psychoanalytic tradition—fails to examine the many origins and manifestations of ableism. Filling a significant gap in the field, Ableism: The Causes and Consequences of Disability Prejudice is the first work to synthesize classic and contemporary studies on the evolutionary, ideological, and cognitive-emotional sources of ableism. This comprehensive volume examines new manifestations of ableism, summarizes the state of research on disability prejudice, and explores real-world personal accounts and interventions to illustrate the various forms and impacts of ableism.
This important contribution to the field combines evidence from multiple theoretical perspectives, including published and unpublished work from both disabled and nondisabled constituents, on the causes, consequences, and elimination of disability prejudice. Each chapter places findings in the context of contemporary theories—identifying methodological limits and suggesting alternative interpretations. Topics include the evolutionary and existential origins of disability prejudice, cultural and impairment-specific stereotypes, interventions to reduce prejudice, and how to effect social change through collective action and advocacy.
Adopting a holistic approach to the study of disability prejudice, this accessibly-written volume:
• Provides an inclusive, up-to-date exploration of the origins and expressions of ableism
• Addresses how to resist ableist practices, prioritize accessible policies, and create more equitable social relations with pages earmarked for activists and allies
• Focuses on interpersonal and intergroup analysis from a social-psychological perspective
• Integrates research from multiple disciplines to illustrate critical cognitive, affective and behavioral mechanisms and manifestations of ableism
• Suggests future research directions based on topics covered in each chapter
Ableism: The Causes and Consequences of Disability Prejudice is an important resource for social, community and rehabilitation psychologists, scholars and researchers of disability studies, and students, activists, and academics across political, sociological, and humanistic disciplines.
The interdisciplinary intervention Nario-Redmond is doing in her new book, Ableism: The Causes and Consequence of Disability Prejudice, is exactly what disability researchers across disciplines need. In her timely and extremely rich account of psychological theories and applications of stigma and stereotypes, Nario-Redmond transforms what has been traditionally considered an issue distinctive to rehabilitation psychology into knowledge applicable to all fields studying disability as a diversity category. Never before has there been a comprehensive review of empirical social science in such close conversation with the language, values and themes that encompass disability studies as this book does. The connections Nario-Redmond makes between the socio-psychological forces that perpetuate prejudice against people with disabilities, ranging from evolutionary psychology and social Darwinism to popular culture, are crucial to the holistic understanding of how disability rights play out in society and in courts. I can easily see how legal studies, political science and law school professors could use those insights when discussing the impact that disability law has on our society. I was excited to see how Nario-Redmond’s previous revolutionary work on the development of disability stereotypes, identity and the unintended consequences of disability simulations have been further developed and put into much broader context in this book. Another highlight for me is the inclusion of qualitative data that incorporates the voices of disabled individuals. This move of including voices not frequently heard in academic writing helps in bringing the carefully described quantitative findings and theoretical accounts to life. This book has something for everyone who is interested in the myriad aspects related to disability. There is no doubt in my mind that due to its accessible nature and broad appeal it would be used by academics and students for years to come.
—Doron Dorfman, Associate Professor, Syracuse University College of Law
Michelle Nario-Redmond’s Ableism: The Causes and Consequences of Disability Prejudice is a comprehensive review and an incisive critical analysis of theory and research on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination toward people with disabilities. From a multi-faceted investigation of the roots of ableism to a theoretically and empirically grounded analysis of strategies for social change, this book is a sophisticated and compelling examination of ableism and its consequences. Readers new to the study of disability as well as experienced disability studies scholars will benefit from Ableism, which offers its readers a wonderful introduction to and analysis of many critical concepts in social psychology. Those who are deeply familiar with the social psychology of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination in the domains of race and gender will find new meaning in that work when viewed through a disability lens. With end-of-chapter discussion questions/activities and the voices of disabled people present throughout, this book is more than a means to understanding ableism, it’s a guide for dismantling it. A theoretically and empirically sophisticated social psychologist, a committed mother of a daughter with a physical disability, and a trusted ally in the disability studies community, Nario-Redmond is extremely well positioned to take on the task of organizing, synthesizing, and critically analyzing the research literature on ableism. She has given us a tremendous gift by having done just that.
—Joan M. Ostrove, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Serie Center for Scholarship and Teaching, Macalester College
About the Author:
Michelle R. Nario-Redmond is a Professor of Psychology at Hiram College, specializing in stereotyping, prejudice, and disability studies. Her research focuses on group identification and political advocacy, strategies of responding to prejudice, and the unintended consequences of simulating disability. She is a member of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the Society of Disability Studies.