The Sociopolitical Construction of Identity: A Multidimensional Model of Disability
Committee ChairRhoades, Gary
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis paper explores the developmental process associated with developing a disability identity and the major societal, political, and environmental influences on disability identity development. This phenomenological study employs in-depth interviews to explore the interplay between the personal experiences of physically disabled college students with their social and physical environments to better understand the disability identity development process. Framing this study are the concepts that disability is a sociopolitical construct and that identity is formed through the interplay of individual and environment.The multidimensional model for disability identity is presented to inform the formation of disability identity. Currently, no model exists solely dedicated to disability identity. This model introduces the term "negotiated identity" to reflect the interaction between individual and environment that is critical to the disability experience. This model sees a departure from its essentialist predecessors by allowing for a vast interpretation of disability identity and straying from the one-directional, stage progression of traditional models. Institutional, practical and research-oriented implications are presented to inform the work of higher education professionals.
Degree ProgramHigher Education