Disability, age, the British countryside and social exclusion

Nathan Kerrigan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Traditionally issues of aging with a disability have tended not to be associated with the British countryside. While an emerging body of research (i.e. Chakraborti and Garland 2004) has begun to challenge ‘problem-free’ constructions of the British countryside by illustrating the pervasiveness of ‘othering’ in rural communities, the experiences of older people with disabilities has tended to be overlooked. Drawing on the findings of a larger project in a small rural town in the south of England and carried out using semi-structured interviews, this chapter will assert that social exclusion is very much the reality of rural living for older people with disabilities. The perceptions of those older people who have aged with a disability and those who identify as having aged into a disability are discussed to illustrate the nature, extent and impact of social exclusion in the area. The chapter suggests that the impact of the problem is worsened when those older people with disabilities are associated with having a different ethnicity. This chapter concludes that racist prejudice can arise from disabled prejudice in older people in the rural context of this study; therefore, recognizing a greater appreciation of the diverse complexity of rural space, and the abandonment of singular, outdated notions of disability and age in the context of ‘rurality’ in favour of a more intersectional approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDisability/Aging Nexus
EditorsKatie Aubrecht, Christine Kelly, Carla Rice
PublisherUniversity of British Columbia Press
ISBN (Print)9780774863674
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


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