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Title: The impact of the family, Church and State on the aspirations of young people with disability in Malta : a cultural perspective
Authors: Garland, Rhoda
Keywords: Youth with disabilities -- Services for -- Malta
Vocational rehabilitation
Disabilities -- Social aspects -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: This dissertation attempts to examine the impact of the family, the Church and the State on how young people with disability achieve their aspirations within the culture they are part of. It analyses the discourses of young people with disability, and how they are shaped by their experiences within Maltese society. The data was collected by recording the narratives of young people with physical or sensorial impairments to discover how their experiences shaped their identities and formed their aspirations. Narratives allowed the participants to tell their life stories, giving them a voice in line with the emancipatory approach to this research, providing a rich detailed account of their thoughts. Narratives were also collated with one of the participant’s parents to discover their experiences and the expectations they had of their children (Hamdani, Mistry & Gibson, 2014). Narrative analysis was used to unpack the discourses that influenced the ability of the participants to achieve their aims. Interviews were conducted with a politician and a priest to complement the debate concerning full inclusion of young people with disability in society. The research surfaced some astonishing issues; it showed that both the parents and the young people with disability had high expectations of their future; the aspirations of the young people were in line with the ambitions of their non-disabled peers. Impairment was not seen as a constraint to their ability to work, live independently or socialise; they were confident in their abilities in these regard. The concerns mainly related to whether negative attitudes towards disability (Joharchi, Corbett and Kobek Pezzarossi, 2015) would prevent them from achieving their goals. Maltese culture, its traditions, beliefs and values were seen to be partially influenced by the Church (Callus, 2014). The outcomes of this research show that young people with disability require that their aspirations should be acknowledged. There is an implication that consultation between NGO’s in the disability sector with Government is welcomed but needs to be formalised. Consultation with the Church is necessary to develop a more empowering approach to impairment, to reduce the impact of the charitable approach now in place. The research found that the Maltese culture influenced by its dominant institutions does indeed influence the aspirations of young people with disability.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2015
Dissertations - FacSoWDSU - 2015

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