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Object, problem, or subject?: A child with a disability as found in reports of professionals

Author:

Tanja Vehkakoski

University of Jyväskylä, Department of Special Education, P.O.Box 35 (PiC), 40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland, FI
About Tanja
Tanja Vehkakoski, MEd works as research associate and doctoral student at the University of Jyvaskyla, at the Department of Special Education. Her research interests focus on exploring how disability is being constructed in the discourse of professionals in the field.
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Abstract

This study examined the representations of one Finnish child with disabilities as constructed in reports written by professionals. The professional action models which appeared in the discourse of the reports were also explored. The theoretical framework of the study was based on the social constructionist approach. Research data consisted of 145 documents, the analyses of which were based on critical discourse analysis developed by Fairclough (1992). Results indicated that the child with a disability was constructed in the documents in varying ways, either as an object, a problem, or a subject Professional expertise, mechanistic and objectivist practices, and seeing disability as an individual problem were verified as the professional modes of action. By revealing how institutionalized views shape the lives of children with disabilities, this study discusses the prevailing and alternative ways to construct disability.
How to Cite: Vehkakoski, T., 2003. Object, problem, or subject?: A child with a disability as found in reports of professionals. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 5(2), pp.160–184. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/15017410309512620
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  Published on 02 Jul 2003
 Accepted on 8 Aug 2002            Submitted on 23 Apr 2002

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