Book Review of Ableism: The Causes and Consequences of Disability Prejudice
The interdisciplinary intervention Nario-Redmond is doing in her new book, Ableism: The Causes and Consequence of Disability Prejudice, is exactly what disability researchers across disciplines need. In her timely and extremely rich account of psychological theories and applications of stigma and stereotypes, Nario-Redmond transforms what has been traditionally considered an issue distinctive to rehabilitation psychology into knowledge applicable to all fields studying disability as a diversity category. Never before there has been a comprehensive review of empirical social science in such close conversation with the language, values and themes that encompass disability studies as this book does.
The connections Nario-Redmond makes between the socio-psychological forces that perpetuate prejudice against people with disabilities, ranging from evolutionary psychology and social Darwinism to popular culture, are crucial to the holistic understanding of how disability rights play out in society and in courts. I can easily see how legal studies, political science and law school professors could use those insights when discussing the impact that disability law has on our society.
I was excited to see how Nario-Redmond’s previous revolutionary work on the development of disability stereotypes, identity and the unintended consequences of disability simulations have been further developed and put into much broader context in this book. Another highlight for me is the inclusion of qualitative data that incorporates the voices of disabled individuals. This move of including voices not frequently heard in academic writing helps in bringing the carefully described quantitative findings and theoretical accounts to life. This book has something for everyone who is interested in the myriad aspects related to disability. There is no doubt in my mind that due to its accessible nature and broad appeal it would be used by academics and students for years to come.
Doron Dorfman Associate Professor of Law
Syracuse University College of Law
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You can access my papers on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) here.