The Essential Work of Crip Resistance: Demanding Dignity in Spain's Pandemic Austerity

Erika Rodriguez


This article considers crip resistance to the politics of austerity with which Spain's government has reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly a decade after the 15-M anti-austerity movement and its occupations. Given the intensification of austerity politics and their effects on people with disabilities, I examine three instances of crip resistance and their virtual, local, and global settings. Beyond McRuer's expansive view of crip resistance as comprised of tactics that center disability against global austerity, my analysis establishes its groundwork in the current demands by Spanish disability advocacy groups and on Javier Romañach's modelo de diversidad funcional, the prevalent model of disability among Spanish disability activists that centers the concept of dignity. Throughout this analysis, I demonstrate how crip tactics that emerge in a crisis can help make sense of a continuing emergency as they challenge the existing conditions of cultural austerity and contribute to the concept of dignity as an organizing principle.


Dignity; functional diversity; crip tactics; austerity; prisons; care work; Spain; COVID-19; pandemic

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2021 Erika Rodriguez

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

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.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact

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