From Object to Subject: A Call for the Radicalization of Participatory Community Development in the Netherlands


The paper provides a critical analysis of the Inclusive Community Project Geldermalsen, in central Netherlands through the lens of Freirean theory and the concepts of dialogue, praxis, and conscientization, thereby establishing an interesting dialogue between critical disability studies and critical pedagogy. On a practical level, the applied participatory methodology of the project and the shaping of new identities on an individual and community level are discussed. On a theoretical level, the research tries to show how critical disability studies can help to refine critical pedagogy through the integration of ability diversity, and in return how Freire’s rootedness in materialism allows for the reconsideration of the definition of disability and the agency of people with disabilities.

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