Andrew J. Hogan

May 14, 2023

Disability Dialogues

Advocacy, Science, and Prestige in Postwar Clinical Professions

JHU Press 2022

Disability activism has fundamentally changed American society for the better--and along with it, the views and practices of many clinical professionals. After 1945, disability self-advocates and family advocates pushed for the inclusion of more positive, inclusive, and sociopolitical perspectives on disability in clinical research, training, and practice. In Disability Dialogues: Advocacy, Science, and Prestige in Postwar Clinical Professions (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022), Andrew J. Hogan highlights the contributions of disabled people--along with their family members and other allies--in changing clinical understandings and approaches to disability.

Hogan examines the evolving medical, social, and political engagement of three postwar professions--clinical psychology, pediatrics, and genetic counseling--with disability and disability-related advocacy. Professionals in these fields historically resisted adopting a more inclusive and accepting perspective on people with disabilities primarily due to concerns about professional role, identity, and prestige. In response to the work of disability activists, however, these attitudes gradually began to change.

Disability Dialogues provides an important contribution to historical, sociological, and bioethical accounts of disability and clinical professionalization. Moving beyond advocacy alone, Hogan makes the case for why present-day clinical professional fields need to better recruit and support disabled practitioners. Disabled clinicians are uniquely positioned to combine biomedical expertise with their lived experiences of disability and encourage greater tolerance for disabilities among their colleagues, students, and institutions.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Shu Wan

Shu Wan is currently matriculated as a doctoral student in history at the University at Buffalo. As a digital and disability historian, he serves in the editorial team of Digital Humanities Quarterly and Nursing Clio. On Twitter: @slissw.

Learn More