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The Globalization of Disability Protests, 1970‐2005: Pushing the Limits of Cross-Cultural Research?

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

This paper examines political protests related to disability issues which occurred since 1970. It examines almost 700 protests outside the US and over 1200 within the US. The data come from media reports and organization websites. Results show that US protests increased after 1984 while non-US protests increased substantially after 1989. The largest numbers of non-US protests occurred in the UK and Canada. US protests are proportionally more likely than non-US protests to be cross-disability or to relate to mobility impairments, while outside of the US disability-specific protests, especially those related to blindness and deafness, are more common. American protests are more likely to target governments as opposed to non-governmental targets than were non-US protests. Factors relating to disability as well as methodological limitations are considered in explaining these differences.

Affiliations: 1: Sociology, Gallaudet University Hall Memorial Building (HMB) S 134B, 800 Florida Ave NE, Washington DC 20002, USA, Email:


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