Dissertation Abstracts

Disability and social destinies: a mixed-methods study

Author: Célia Bouchet, celia.bouchet@sciencespo.fr
Department: Sociology
University: SciencesPo Paris, France
Supervisor: Anne Revillard and Philippe Coulangeon
Year of completion: 2022
Language of dissertation: French

Keywords: disability , inequality , stratification , mixed methods
Areas of Research: Stratification , Health , Logic and Methodology


While sociological research on inequalities "between" social groups is developing in response to contemporary concerns, disability-related differences in life courses are still poorly documented. This thesis examines differentiations between able-bodied people and people who have grown up with long-term limitations living in households in metropolitan France, in their vertical (inequalities) and horizontal (divisions without hierarchies) components. We combine an exploitation of the 2011 Continuous Employment Survey and its ad-hoc module with an analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with 37 people, 20 of whom have grown up with a visual impairment and 17 of whom have grown up with specific learning disorders. Disability shapes the paths of the interviewees through three dynamics: assignments (perceptions and treatments by others), self-identifications (representations and practices of the people themselves) and constraints linked to long-term limitations (time requirements, reduced scope of possibilities...). These dynamics also influence people's representations of their positions, from the identification of a number of daily devaluations to favorable biases in the self-evaluation of their success. Further investigation on schooling, employment and family life teaches us that disability co-constructs inequalities with social origin, gender, migration and race, to the detriment of several disabled sub-populations: lower levels of education, barriers to employment and in employment, restricted access to conjugality and parenthood... Specific horizontal divisions also exist between able-bodied people and people perceived by others or self-identifying as disabled, such as educational and occupational specializations and atypical conjugal pairings. Online access to the manuscript: https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-03637654 Online access to datasets: https://data.sciencespo.fr/dataverse/ehds Other resources from the research: https://celiabouchet.hypotheses.org/doc/these