Understanding political development through an intersectionality framework: Life stories of disability activists

Akemi Nishida

Abstract


This article explores how those who do not share their marginalized identities with their surrounding people (e.g., family members) and thus community resources relating to these identities, initiate and experience political development. The concept of intersectionality is used as an analytical tool to examine how one's political development is mediated via one's intersecting identities, communities, and experience of social in/justices. Life story interviews were conducted with disabled activists to explore this question. The stories reveal how these activists, who had initially resisted identifying as disabled for various reasons, eventually used the politicizing experiences from nondisability identities and communities to reframe and reclaim their disability status. By tracing the political developments of disabled people, this article places importance on understanding the process in a holistic way and on developing activist communities and movements that acknowledge intersecting identities and in/justices.


Keywords


political development; intersectionality; disability identity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v36i2.4449

Copyright (c) 2016 Akemi Nishida



Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

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ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)