This paper will present the findings of a community-based research program which captured empirical observations of ‘intersectional inequality’ and discrimination experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability through their personal testimony and statistical data. Using illustrative examples from the ‘Closing the Gap Framework’ to address Indigenous disadvantage and the National Disability Strategy, it will then synthesise the theory of ‘intersectionality’ with neoclassical economic theory to explain the sustained social and economic disempowerment of vulnerable groups through the exercise of free market principles in the administration of social programs. This creates a ‘paradox of low hanging fruit’, where the more successful the application of social programs to those facing relatively low access barriers, whilst at the same time abandoning the needs of those facing relatively high access barriers, creates a widening of the inequality within the population that the social program aims to benefit.
SOURCE: Soldatic, K. & St Guillaume, L. “Social Suffering in the Neoliberal Age: Classificatory Logic and Systems of Governance” Western Sydney University, 2019.
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