Gambling for capital: Learning disability, inclusive research and collaborative life histories

Kristín Björnsdóttir*, Aileen Soffía Svensdóttir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to reflect on research collaboration between a research participant with learning disability and a nondisabled doctoral student. In the paper we explore the inclusiveness of our research partnership and how collaborative life histories can be empowering both for participants and researchers. We suggest that it is possible to make any kind of research inclusive, although doctoral projects can perhaps not be fully inclusive because of academic requirements. We argue that people with learning disabilities should have the opportunity to be involved in research and that collaborative writing between nondisabled researchers and people with learning disabilities is no less valuable than other disability research and should be taken seriously by policy makers and academia. A second aim of the paper is to reflect on our position, as a nondisabled researcher and a researcher with learning disabilities, in the field of disability studies. We state that as researchers we have little power in the field of disability studies because researchers with learning disabilities are not taken seriously and nondisabled researchers tend to be met with scepticism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Other keywords

  • Collaborative life histories
  • Cultural capital
  • Disability studies
  • Inclusive research
  • Learning disability


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