Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Constructs of disability and discrimination in anti-discrimination law : a comparative critique of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Ireland's Employment Equality Act
Author: Smith, Olivia
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis critiques particular aspects of the employment discrimination protection afforded in the United States’ Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 and Ireland’s Employment Equality Act 1998 as a normative conceptualisation of disability equality as informed by the social model’s theorising on disability. While it addresses specific problems that occur in the operation of the disability discrimination system, at a general level, it utilises the social model of disability to expose the limitations arising when non-discrimination is adopted as the primary principle of justice and inclusion. The work begins by tracing the historical development of the disability category as western society moved from feudal ties to a wage-labour capitalist economy and the concomitant establishment of a parallel universe for the majority of disabled individuals. Concepts of equality and non-discrimination adopted within legal discourse are discussed so as to provide a backdrop against which subsequent analysis of the disability system is undertaken. The analysis also extends to the constitutional plane, adopting an Irish-US comparative focus. An examination of each jurisdiction’s approach to the issue of proving disability for the purposes of statutory protection, illustrates how the non-discrimination paradigm continues to sustain and perpetuate the individual functional limitation approach to disability and the exclusion of disabled persons. Finally, the reasonable accommodation duty is examined, both as a form of legal equality and as a requirement and implementation of social model theorising. This thesis considers how traditional defects of anti-discrimination law appear exacerbated in the disability context; how discrimination norms can mask the real nature of the problems facing disabled people and; how such problems of oppression, domination and exclusion are immune from the contours of the non-discrimination norm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available