Within the wider renaissance of the citizenship debate and the social model of disability,
this thesis on citizenship, social work and disabled people, attempts to establish the value
and applicability of a citizenship model of social work practice among disabled people in
Malaysia. The citizenship model is developed through a critical review of the relevant
literature on citizenship, disability and social work in relation to Malaysian economic,
social and political development. Its value and applicability are assessed through empirical
research on policy, organisation and pratice in services for disabled people in Malaysia.
Three aspects of social welfare are addressed and integrated throughout this thesis. Firstly,
citizenship; secondly, disability theories and models; thirdly, disabled people and voluntary
organisations in the Klang valley region of Malaysia.
In this study a collaborative action research method was utilized and this has facilitated
disabled people's participation in the research together with an opportunity to introduce the
findings directly to voluntary organisations under study. Furthermore, the attempt in this
study to link macro and micro concerns, theory and practice, quantitative and qualitative
approaches in one field study, has potential for further development.
Through a comprehensive overview of thirty one voluntary organisations based in the
Kiang valley region of Malaysia, a four-fold typology of organisations emerged namely
charity care, enabling care, advocacy and self-help. Further analysis identified clear
differences in priorities and programmes adopted by voluntary organisations controlled and
managed by disabled people and those by non-disabled people. This analysis was further
confirmed with an in-depth study of two organisations, one from each of these two
This thesis reveals that disabled people in Malaysia can make a claim for their membership
and inclusion in Malaysian society based on citizenship rights and responsibilities.
Consistent with citizenship principles, disabled people themselves and their organisations
will have to continue to take the lead not only at the level of analysis and advocacy but
also in developing creative alternative services which afford disabled people ownership and
control. The implications of this development for both the public and voluntary sectors
controlled and managed by non-disabled people are identified.
Permanent link to this resource: https://doi.org/10.24384/r5rt-vz80
Supervisors: George, Peter; Davies, Phil
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
: British High Commissioner's Award
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