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Frames and debates for disability, childhood and the global South: Introducing the Special Issue. (Editorial)


Our understanding of disability, as readers of this journal will be aware, is rooted in the epistemology of disability studies, seeing it not as a medical state contained within the body or mind of a person, but as a socially created phenomenon that takes its shape through social relations, cultural representations, and modes of production and reproduction. This means that disability cannot be discussed in universal or generalised terms, but always requires attention to the specific embodied, social, cultural and economic contexts in which it occurs. This special issue, therefore, seeks to explore the interconnections and intersections of disability, childhood, and South/North relations, three areas that are rarely examined together.

Papers in this issue take multiple perspectives on childhood – from theoretical engagement in how childhood and disability are understood (e.g. Nixon et al; Wolbring and Ghai) to empirical papers looking at the lives of disabled children in different national contexts (Burr; Stienstra), those exploring disabling conditions outside of impairment such as poverty and street connectedness (Corcoran; Do Nascimento et al.) and also those examining adults’ accounts of experiences of sexual abuse in childhood (Vaidya). We hope that the combination of these different perspectives allows readers to consider the complexity of issues at the intersection of disability, childhood and global relations.


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Journal Article
Burman E
Greenstein A
Kumar M