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Title: Beyond barriers : a critical realist perspective on disability and the meaning of the dwelling
Author: McKechnie, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 7928
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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This research engages with critical realism to reassess the meaning of the dwelling for physically disabled individuals. Much of the existing literature on experiences of the dwelling for physically disabled individuals has explored functional design issues. In doing so a homogenous view of the meaning of the dwelling has been presented, one that has largely neglected the influences of both agency and physiology. To remedy this neglect this research seeks to explore the possibility for difference in the meaning of the dwelling and in doing so move beyond the explanations presented in the past. Drawing on the data generated through life history interviews with nineteen individuals with a wide range of physically disabilities, this thesis explores the range of events that can affect the meaning of the dwelling for physically disabled individuals. Moreover, by developing a critical understanding of critical realism, over the course of the thesis an analytical framework will be developed; a framework that can help explain the experiences of the nineteen participants in a non-reductionist fashion. Principally, this framework will highlight the impossibility of reducing experiences to just one cause and assert the need to recognise that a combination of structures, mechanisms and events co-determine the meaning of the dwelling. By taking an epistemological position influenced by critical realism it becomes possible to acknowledge experiential diversity in the form of: episodic issues; type of impairment; biographical accomplishment; emotional attachments; impact of care services etc. without disregarding all important issues of design or homogenising experiences. In doing so this research not only makes a contribution to the meaning of the home literature, but to disability and housing studies in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available