By William Boyce
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Additional resources for A Seat at the Table: Persons with Disabilities and Policy Making
At the group level, theories such as negotiated order (Day and Day 1977) and collaboration theory (Gray 1989) can be used to explain group dynamics in participation. Our research found, however, that social change theories are more useful for exposing the structural factors that facilitate or limit participation and for explaining the emergence of a popularized notion of citizen participation. The major bodies of contemporary social change theory related to citizen participation in policy making are those concerned with community organization, social movements, interest groups, and political economy.
Early theories of social movement focused on the emergence of social problems and the motivations of aggrieved populations and leaders in responding to these problems (Turner and Killian 1987). However, these analyses of collective behaviour gave little explanation for the participation of non-aggrieved persons (Olson 1968) or the development of community organizations in the social movement (McCarthy and Zald 1987). Two social movement theories apply particularly to citizen participation in disability policy making: resource mobilization theory and new social movement theory.
And, according to Alan Cairns (1990), the clauses of the Constitution that single out particular characteristics of citizens, such as those related to our multicultural heritage, our different languages, and our unique religious beliefs, create new 39 Constitutional Ferment civic and constitutional identities. We are no longer simply Canadian citizens, but people with specific social or political identities grounded in our differences. These differences in turn shape how we relate to each other and to government.
A Seat at the Table: Persons with Disabilities and Policy Making by William Boyce