Work camps: disciplining the body – a review


There’s a new review of Working Men’s Bodies on the humanities and social science website H-Net. The author is Jihan Abbas, who is both a disability activist and a scholar of disability and inclusion in the labor market and social policy. She summarises the book as covering ‘a broad range of sites and colonies that were used to enforce work and discipline of various and diverse bodies’.

Here is her conclusion:

The book discusses important strands concerning the meaning of work and constructions of male bodies, and it will be of interest to a broad and interdisciplinary audience. It not only provides a rich and thorough history of work camps but also highlights the experiences of those living and working within them and the impact of policy decisions and labor practices. Field illustrates public understanding across space and time, the role of training, and the influence of labor policies. It is an important contribution to shared understandings of how bodies are shaped and managed through public discourse and policy interventions.Working Men’s Bodies will therefore also appeal to readers interested in sociology, labor policy and the gendered nature of work.
If you want to read the full review, you can find it here.

Disability and research in adult learning

How do adult learning researchers treat the question of disability? Based on a keyword search, I estimnate that between 2003 and 2012, the International Journal of Lifelong Education published four papers on disability, Adult Education Quarterly published three and Studies in the Education of Adults published none.

Moreover, two of the papers in IJLE focused on the experiences of practitioners, and one in AEQ reported on a study of disability activists as activists. Admittedly, some authors will cover disability as one of several forms of exclusion or sources of identity, and I have not tried to count those.

This leaves a total of four papers which focused on the experiences of disabled learners, in three eminent journals in the course of a decade. For a research community that prides itself on its interest in equity and justice, we clearly have a long way to go.