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Article

Режимы и форматы видимости категории инвалидности в публичной сфере

Modern technologies and social networks make people with disabilities active and visible in the public sphere. The “otherness” of the private life of a person with disability is brought in the focus of art and media projects, programs of social research. But the appearance of the category of disability in the public sphere is still understudied. The article reveals theoretical and methodological resources of the concepts of public sphere for sociological interpretations and empirical measurements of the disability issues.  The author discusses the controversial nature of the existing theoretical models of disability understanding. The comparison of the classical model of public sphere by J. Habermas and modern discoursive and semiotic theories are exposed. The frontiers between the “discourse” and the “public sphere” issues are specified. Modern alternative approaches to public sphere understanding provide the researchers with clearer interpretations and measurements of spatial and content characteristics of public sphere of disability. The “semiotic of visibility” opens new perspectives, which enable the important role of the symbolic interactions and political conflict in different types of public spaces and relevant discussions. The empirical illustrations show, how and when the category of disability become visible in public sphere. As far as what effects and constrains different modes of visibility can bring to the public understanding of the category of disability and the identity of the community of people with disabilities.