The Disabled Proletariat and Ableist Bourgeoisie: Tracking the Dialectic through Political Action
Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is landmark legislation in the progress of disabled Americans’ civil rights. Despite this, disabled people remain an underclass oppressed by an ableist population. This study examines the political actions of both groups though Marxist Social Conflict Theory. Using content analysis of news media since the passage of the ADA, we examine the dialectic between the Disabled Proletariat (DP) and Ableist Bourgeoisie (AB) by tracking the political actions of both parties and finding trends throughout the 30-year legacy of the affirmative ADA. This research sheds light on an active but uneven dialectic where the AB serves as an oppressive, managing force for a DP that has never wanted to be a poorly dignified underclass.