Diversity and Change in the Labour Market Careers of Persons with Disabilities

Edmund Coleman-Fountain, Roy Sainsbury, Bruno Trezzini, Šárka Káňová

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


The concept of Active Citizenship presumes that for ‘full and effective’ participation in society to be achieved, three principles must be observed. These are the principles of security, autonomy, and influence. Autonomy is of particular relevance for labour market participation. Active Citizenship is promoted when persons with disabilities make choices about work without the impediment of socially imposed barriers and sources of control not experienced by persons without disabilities. As employment is accorded the status of a right by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and improved access to work an established goal of the OECD, the EU and its member states, this chapter examines how persons with disabilities experience employment and the degree to which they make choices about employment. To explore these questions, this chapter analyses life-course data from 217 interviews with persons with disabilities born around 1950, 1970 and 1990 in nine European countries (see Chapter 3). It asks how choice shaped people’s employment trajectories ‘within the opportunities and constraints of history and social circumstance’ (Elder, Johnson, & Crosnoe, 2003: 11). The chapter is divided into six parts. The first sets out how the data is used. Three further sections offer accounts of the diverse labour market experiences of individuals in the three age cohorts. The final part reframes the discussion about choice in terms of risk in order to make connections between the life courses of disabled persons and wider socio-economic structures. The chapter ends by drawing broad lessons for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding the Lived Experiences of Persons with Disabilities in Nine Countries
Subtitle of host publicationActive Citizenship and Disability in Europe
EditorsRune Halvorsen, Bjørn Hvinden, Julie Beadle Brown, Mario Biggeri, Jan Tøssebro, Anne Waldschmidt
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781138652927
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Disability Studies
PublisherTaylor & Francis


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