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The Disability Business
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The Disability Business
Rehabilitation in America


Volume: 190

May 1992 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Recipient of the American Sociological Association's Eliot Freidson Award and the 1993 Award for the Promotion of Human Welfare Disability has become Big Business. Fueled by government and health insurance money, the world of rehabilitation now includes an army of doctors, therapists, nurses, and other health professionals. Banks. Hospitals. Courts. Insurance companies, too. What about the millions of consumers who require care for lifelong or traumatic disabilities? How do the needs of profit, fiscal growth, and marketing influence the quality of care given, and how does the financial growth in this industry change the nature of the care provided? What can the consumer do to ensure quality care? How does this mega-billion-dollar industry function? Who are the key players and how do they interact? In this institutional analysis of disability and the rehabilitation industry, Albrecht addresses these pivotal questions and shows how strongly quality of care is influenced by income, income potential, and insurance coverage of an individual. He also traces how the financial growth in this industry has changed the nature of the care provided and offers a realistic assessment of the policy options available to a society that values equity in ensuring that quality rehabilitation services are equally available to all. With The Disability Business, Albrecht presents a fresh, new metaphor to help recast our understanding of disability and the rehabilitation industry. "Albrecht has written a book that is comprehensive and contains much insight, seeking to integrate a vast amount of information and analysis of disability and rehabilitation into an understandable and persuasive account that draws on the full range of social science disciplines and policy literatures. . . . This is an important book on an important and neglected topic within disability studies. If one knew nothing about how disability is shaped by our society, this book would be a fine place to start, and for those already working in the field of disability studies, there are meany new dimensions to be discovered here. It would be very appropriate for classroom use in medical sociology, disability, or rehabilitation related courses. Anyone with an interest in disability, including scholars, service providers, advocates, and students, would find The Disability Business an interesting and useful book, and ought to be concerned with the institutional issues examined in it." --Disability Studies Quarterly "With an impressive command of his subject matter, rich and extensive sources, and a highly readable style, the author provides important insights into how the major stakeholders in the disability business--medical professionals, rehabilitation professionals, government representatives, business managers and shareholders, and consumers of rehabilitation goods and services--vie for control over disability and the rehabilitation industry and, ultimately, for control over the lives of persons with disabilities. . . . This important book should be required reading for stakeholders, scholars, and citizens who will or should participate in the policy debate and decisions that will shape the future of the rehabilitation industry and the lives of the consumers who are supposed to be the primary beneficiaries of it." --Contemporary Sociology "An important and useful contribution to describing and understanding the burgeoning rehabilitation industry." --Lu Ann Aday, University of Texas "The Disability Business is a clearly-written, well-thought-out and comprehensive treatment of disability issues and policy, based on many years of immersion in this field. This is a 'must' for all who are concerned with or interested in disability." --Anselm Strauss, University of California, San Francisco "One can read this book to gain a sense of the vast sweep of the literature on disability and to receive a detailed description and analysis of the rehabilitation process. The book marks an impressive beginning to what should become a growing literature on disability policy now that the Americans with Disabilities Act has been passed. It reveals some disturbing details about that policy that the debate over the act left almost completely unaddressed." --Science "Relying principally on conventional sociological and medical perspectives, this comprehensive report on the growth of rehabilitation enterprises represents a 'second generation' of disability studies. . . . This exposition is a useful and extensive. . . contribution to research on disability. Advanced undergraduate through professional." --Choice "In The Disability Business, Gary Albrecht delivers a thorough, well-researched, and clearly written work on disability in America. . . . Albrecht has put together a thoroughly documented work, the reference sections of which are immense resources themselves. . . . The appearance of this book at this point in time is fortuitous. Quite often sociologists critically evaluate practices and policies that have already occurred. Here is an opportunity for a book to lead the way as Americans struggle with health-care policies and rehabilitation aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act." --American Journal of Sociology "This book is well written and interesting to read. There is logical sequencing from section to section. . . . I recommend this book to any physical therapy practitioner, as well as to those who are interested in the rehabilitation field. The text would be well suited for introductory or administrative courses in physical therapy curriculums." --Physical Therapy "In The Disability Business, Gary Albrecht delivers a thorough, well-researched, and clearly written work on disability in America. He explores the topic of disability from a variety of perspectives (e.g., the social construction of social problems and political economy) to demonstrate the interrelatedness of factors (e.g., rehabilitation professionals and disability activists) influencing the "disability business". This approach is welcome because it is comprehensive without being strident in defense of a specific perspective. . . . Albrecht lays out in an engaging, yet methodical, manner who the interested parties are in the rehabilitation industry and how decisions are made as disability business gets done. . . . Albrecht has put together a thoroughly documented work, the reference sections of which are immense resources in themselves. The Disability Business should be of interest to many social scientists. Clearly, it will engage those with an interest in sociology of health. But this book could equally be viewed as an excellent case study in social problems. . . the appearance of this book at this point in time is fortuitous. Quite often sociologists critically evaluate practices and policies that have already occurred. Here is an opportunity for a book to lead the way as America struggles with health-care policies and the rehabilitation aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act." --Pacific Affairs

 
Prologue
From Personal Experiences to Theory and Policy  
 
PART ONE: DISABILITY AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON
 
The Transformation of Disability into a Commodity
 
The Production and Distribution of Disability in Society
 
The Social Meaning of Impairment and Interpretation of Disability
 
PART TWO: SOCIAL RESPONSES TO DISABILITY
 
The Law and Politics of Rehabilitation
 
The Rehabilitation Industry
 
Rehabilitation Professionals
 
The Marketing of Rehabilitation Goods and Services
 
The Rehabilitation Process
 
PART THREE: FROM SOCIAL THEORY TO SOCIAL POLICY
 
The Consumer
 
Social Policies for the Disabled

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ISBN: 9780803936317
$73.00