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Disability and Social (In)Security: Emotions, Contradictions of ‘Inclusion’ and Employment and Support Allowance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 November 2012

Chris Grover
Department of Applied Social Science, Lancaster University E-mail:
Linda Piggott
Department of Applied Social Science, Lancaster University E-mail:


The focus of this article is on the ways in which emotions are engaged in the discursive construction and treatment of disabled people in receipt of social security benefits. The article draws upon the literature related to the social importance of emotions and that concerned with moral boundary drawing. It argues that the evocation of emotional reactions is crucial in understanding the ways in which changes to out-of-work benefits for disabled people (the development of Employment and Support Allowance) have recently been effected and the ways in which this has reflected a desire to more closely denote those judged able and not able to work in a redrawing of the ‘disability category’. While this has been done in the name of ‘inclusion’, the article concludes that its consequences are, in various ways, the ‘exclusion’ and stigmatisation of disabled people.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012 

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