Home Institution

Wellesley College

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy


Disability is a topic that is often overlooked and not seen in day to day life. Disability may be visible or invisible to others, and individuals may have varying attitudes and opinions towards people with disabilities. Disability can also be conceptualized in different ways depending on if one takes on a bio-medical model or a social model of disability. In this study, I explored how disability is seen, both literally and metaphorically in urban townships in the eThekwini Municipality in South Africa. I conducted semi-structured interviews with individuals with disabilities and community members at large to understand people’s perspectives on disability. I synthesized my findings in my interviews through a reflexive autoethnographic approach that allowed my own perspectives and stories to live in relation to the perspectives and stories of my participants. The result of this study is a deeper understanding of myself and my own perspective on disability as a sibling of someone with a disability as it relates to the viewpoints and realities of other people.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Disability and Equity in Education | Disability Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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