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'Do You Think I'm Stupid?': Urban Encounters between People with and without Intellectual Disability

Wiesel, I., Bigby, C., Carling-Jenkins, R.,

Academic Literature

2013

Being amongst strangers is a definitive aspect of life in the modern city. To understand social inclusion in cities, it is necessary to consider not only the strength and extent of social networks of familiarity, but also the role of interactions with strangers in the public realm. People with intellectual disability are considered one of the most marginalised groups in society and the study applies the concept of encounter to offer a new perspective on their inclusion/exclusion, informed by contemporary urban theory rather than more nostalgic notions of community. The paper discusses encounters between people with and without intellectual disability in one suburb in Melbourne, Australia. The study is based, primarily, on field observations in a variety of settings in the public realm. Through analysis of these data, a typology of urban encounters is proposed that involves people with and without intellectual disability.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Urban Studies

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Community and civic participation, Social relationships

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