Disabled people as counterfeit citizens: the politics of resentment past and present

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In this article I argue that disabled people in the United Kingdom have been tipped into an abyss of counterfeit citizenship. They have been smeared as ‘false mendicants’ – an old trick well documented in the historical archives of ableism. Neoliberalism has used this repertoire of invalidation – its noxious taint of cunning and fraud – as the ‘moral justification’ for welfare reform and for the pillory and notoriety into which the entire disabled community has been placed. Austerity – through the neoliberal politics of resentment – has made disabled people its scapegoat. I argue that a historical precedent for the contemporary demonisation of disabled people as counterfeit citizens can be found in the early modern period in the mythology of the ‘sturdy beggar’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1004
Number of pages14
JournalDisability and Society
Volume30
Issue number7
Early online date29 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Mythology
Fraud
Politics
citizen
politics
present
scapegoat
mythology
fraud
neoliberalism
citizenship
welfare
reform
community
United Kingdom

Keywords

  • disability
  • citizenship
  • society

Cite this

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abstract = "In this article I argue that disabled people in the United Kingdom have been tipped into an abyss of counterfeit citizenship. They have been smeared as ‘false mendicants’ – an old trick well documented in the historical archives of ableism. Neoliberalism has used this repertoire of invalidation – its noxious taint of cunning and fraud – as the ‘moral justification’ for welfare reform and for the pillory and notoriety into which the entire disabled community has been placed. Austerity – through the neoliberal politics of resentment – has made disabled people its scapegoat. I argue that a historical precedent for the contemporary demonisation of disabled people as counterfeit citizens can be found in the early modern period in the mythology of the ‘sturdy beggar’.",
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Disabled people as counterfeit citizens: the politics of resentment past and present. / Hughes, Bill.

In: Disability and Society, Vol. 30, No. 7, 2015, p. 991-1004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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