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Title Empowerment through co-operation: disability inclusion via multi-stakeholder co-operative development
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Publication Date
Date Available
University/Publisher University of Saskatchewan
Abstract The disability community is one of the largest minority groups vulnerable to social exclusion and marginalization, too often forced into poverty, unemployment and social isolation through dependence on the state. This is the result of systemic discrimination, and is being challenged by the social model of disability which frames disability as a political creation: it proposes that barriers, prejudice, and exclusion created by society (purposely or inadvertently) are the ultimate factors defining disability. The social model empowers people with disabilities to dismantle barriers so they have choice, flexibility, and control to gain the dignity, autonomy, equality, and solidarity associated with human rights and citizenship, and calls for research that takes an emancipatory approach and has a political commitment to confront oppression and exclusion. This interdisciplinary Master’s thesis looks at the ways co-operatives can be vehicles for inclusion and empowerment for the disability community. It looks particularly at the multi-stakeholder model of co-operative, which is especially promising for the empowerment of the disability community as it brings together different member categories in an appropriate form of interdependence. My research uses case study methodology to explore how socially constructed barriers are the impairment to development in the disability community and to identify successes where informal multi-stakeholder co-operatives have been used to empower people with disabilities through analysis on four dimensions: how consumer-controlled the co-op is, use of multi-stakeholder alliances, promotion of the social model of disability, and ability to promote economic inclusion and social solidarity. The disability community needs new opportunities for empowerment and community development to overcome disadvantage and marginalization, and this thesis explores the potential of multi-stakeholder co-operatives, vis-à-vis the social model of disability, to do this. This research will help shape policies needed to foster social inclusion to empower people with disabilities and build disability solidarity through co-operative development.
Subjects/Keywords minority group; disability studies; disability community; co-op studies; social model of disability
Contributors James-Cavan, Kathleen; Fairbairn, Brett; Hammond Ketilson, Lou; Gertler, Michael; Clarke, Louise; Surtees, Doug
Language en
Country of Publication ca
Record ID handle:10388/etd-09102010-183035
Other Identifiers TC-SSU-09102010183035
Repository sask
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2018-12-06

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…Kama Soles 1 Empowerment through Co-operation Prologue I’ve always looked for ways to combine my academic interests with more practical matters. For instance, I graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a BA Honours in psychology in 2002…

…government, insufficient financial resources, and time and energy constraints on members. My experience with SILC inspired this interdisciplinary Master’s thesis through the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan. I look at…

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