“This space is not built for people like us”: An Institutional Ethnography of the Everyday Work of Students with Disabilities in Nigerian Universities

Isiaka, Abass Bolaji (2024) “This space is not built for people like us”: An Institutional Ethnography of the Everyday Work of Students with Disabilities in Nigerian Universities. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Against the backdrop of the expansion of higher education in a postcolonial context, this thesis develops a novel understanding of the everyday work that goes into enacting disability inclusion policies in higher education institutions in Nigeria. Through a decolonial institutional ethnography, the study brings the social organisation of policy texts (Smith, 2005) in dialogue with the colonial matrix of power (Quijano, 2007) to explicate how higher education policies are caught in the ideological understanding of disability, inclusion and inclusive education diffused through legitimised knowledge and practices. It argues that the locus of enunciation (Grosfoguel, 2011) of disability inclusion policies and the idea of university education is still Eurocentric, thereby dictating the thinking, saying, doing and being of inclusive education in he periphery.

Conducted over six months, the study is an immersion into the experience of students with disabilities (SWDs) through shadowing their daily and nightly campus activities across three anonymised universities of different statuses (federal, state and private). The study also involved over 60 interviews conducted with students and other policy “actors”, such as disability unit staff, lecturers, counselling support services, volunteers, and principal officers of the universities and document analysis of the universities' strategic plans and reports.

The study reveals how discourses, institutional policies, and support services are being deployed to “contain” the experience of SWDs in higher education institutions. It shows that, whether institutional policies and frameworks are implemented or not, there is “policy work” that SWDs undertake as they pursue access and participation in universities that are not designed for them. This innovative conceptualisation allows the institutional observability of how SWDs prepare for, experience and engage with university life, described as access work, participation work and transformation work.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: James Tweddle
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2024 15:48
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2024 15:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95849


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