Title

Physical and Social Barriers to Social Relationships: Voices of Rural Disabled Women in the USA

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Publication Source

Disability & Society

Volume

24

Issue

2

Inclusive pages

201-215

ISBN/ISSN

09687599

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Through exploring the lived experiences of disabled women, this study investigates how physicaland social barriers affect their social relationships. In‐depth tape‐recorded interviews investigating a variety of social and interpersonal issues were conducted with 24 women with physical or visual impairments who lived in a rural region of the midwestern USA. Using content analysis, the researchers examined interview data for common themes and patterns relating to socialrelationships. The findings indicate that physical barriers, related to the physical environment and personal physicality, along with social barriers, involving preconceptions of others about impairment and restrictions in personal networks, hamper the initiation and maintenance of socialrelationships. Further, the experiences of this group of disabled women corresponded most closely with the premises of a social relational understanding of disability.

Disciplines

Sociology

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