Nothing to Be Had 'Off the Peg': Consumption, Identity and the Immobilization of Young Disabled People

Hughes, B., Russell, R. and Paterson, K. (2005) Nothing to Be Had 'Off the Peg': Consumption, Identity and the Immobilization of Young Disabled People. Disability and Society, 20(1), pp. 3-17.

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Contemporary sociology makes the case that the concepts of society & social structure are past their sell-by dates. Our world is marked by impermanence & social life is characterized by mobilities. Even self-identity has become liquid. Social actors use consumption artefacts & services to redesign themselves in ways that are commensurate with their deepest desires. However, we argue that disabled people are unlikely to recognize themselves in these debates. Young disabled people, in their quest for identity & consumer citizenship, meet with ubiquitous barriers, & closed markets. In their experience choice & mobility are rhetorical. They encounter immobilization & exclusion from the kinds of consumer lifestyles that their non-disabled peers take for granted. Furthermore, we argue, that at the heart of consumer culture is an aesthetic of youthfulness that is profoundly alien to 'the anomaly'. The signifiers of 'youth' & disability are in profound tension. Cultures of consumption are constituted in ways that mark young disabled people off as outsiders who need not apply for entry.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Choices, Constraints, Consumers, Consumption, Handicapped, Identity, Mobility, Social Closure, Youth
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Paterson, Dr Kevin
Authors: Hughes, B., Russell, R., and Paterson, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Disability and Society

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