Shallow Inclusion (or Integration) and Deep Exclusion: En-Dis-Abling Identities through Government Webpages in Hong Kong

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Shallow Inclusion (or Integration) and Deep Exclusion: En-Dis-Abling Identities through Government Webpages in Hong Kong


  • Alex Cockain Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong


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Abstract:  This article is primarily concerned with how government webpages in Hong Kong claiming to embrace social inclusion and provide services and support for persons with disabilities construct issues relating to disability. These texts are not read in isolation. Instead, they are considered in conjunction with discourse produced in several United Nations documents, especially the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Hong Kong is a signatory. These documents appear to both proffer and retract social inclusion in ways that complicate, if not undermine entirely, their purportedly inclusionary intentions. This article also reflects upon commentary produced by university students at a public university in Hong Kong responding to government discourse. Such focus upon ‘non-disabled’ readers reveals how texts do more than merely mediate pre-existing messages. Instead, they constitute a “social location and organizer for the accomplishment of meaning”, thereby counting as “a form of social action” (Titchkosky, 2007, p. 27). Through the texts they conspire to make about disability, authors and readers become complicit in the production, maintenance, and reinforcement of non-disabled (or abled)/disabled identities and dis/ableist ideology in ways that implicate the entire population in exclusionary processes.

Keywords:  barriers; dis/ableism; exclusion; Hong Kong; integration; non-disabled (or abled)/disabled identities; othering; rehabilitation; social inclusion; United Nations

Published:   17 May 2018


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v6i2.1282


© Alex Cockain. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.