'Choice Biography' and the importance of the social

Small, Neil, Pawson, Nicole and Raghavan, Raghu (2003) 'Choice Biography' and the importance of the social. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 31 (4). pp. 159-165. ISSN 1354-4187

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3156.2003.00252.x


Recent European Union and Economic and Social Research Council funded research has scrutinized the concept of choice and future orientation in those undergoing transitions into adulthood. The focus of interest has been on the interplay of social structure and individual agency. We draw on initial findings from a Department of Health funded study to critique these new ways of thinking. In what ways do people with learning disabilities manifest the same attitudes to choice and risk evident in recent studies of young people? Do they demonstrate similar models of adaptation to the future? We will explore, via three case study examples, the tension between individual agency and family attitudes to future possibilities. We will argue that advances in the sociology of youth are in danger of assuming that the individualized 'choice biography' is the predominant model of transition. This does not reflect the importance of social networks and family relationships in young people with learning disability. For them, risk-management and the pursuit of well-being are pursued in the social domain.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is based on the preliminary findings of a three-year research project funded by the Department of Health under the Learning Disability Research Initiative to explore the context of social networks for people with learning disabilities. The research initiative was based on the Valuing People White Paper 2001.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Learning disabled, Social networks
Subjects: L200 Politics
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 15 May 2008 11:47
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 15:26
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3706

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