Conceptualising rehabilitation in late modern society

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Being traditionally a correcting and repairing practice, anchored in the modernistic visions of the European welfare states, rehabilitation is today subject to substantial revisions. The concept and practices of rehabilitation are under pressure from multiple directions. Traditional rehabilitation is challenged from above by way of pressure from political institutions demanding more and better rehabilitation services with less resources. It is challenged from inside where an increasing number of professions fight each other for a (fair) share of the increasing rehabilitation market It is challenged from outside where its orderly modernistic vision is met by disorderliness and diversity, and from below, by a growing and stronger disability movement eager to free itself from the chains of oppressing categories and labels imposed by paternalistic professionals. As a respond to this, the purpose and goals of rehabilitation is substantially extended to include also societal participation and equal opportunities for disabled people. The question asked in this paper is whether the concept of rehabilitation will survive the challenges and shift in perspective that we are now witnessing? © 2003 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.




Hanssen, J. I., & Sandvin, J. T. (2003). Conceptualising rehabilitation in late modern society. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 5(1), 24–41.

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