Alternative spaces of failure. Disabled ‘bad boys’ in alternative further education provision

Craig Johnston, Simon Bradford

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This article draws from an ethnographic study of a group of school-aged disabled white working-class and self-proclaimed ‘bad boys’ in one Alternative Provision (AP) in an English further education college. These young disabled students’ disabilities contribute to the formation of their revalorised – yet stigmatised – identities. Stigma also facilitates the governance of their educational careers. The article considers how this group understands its precarious existence in and beyond AP and how these young men resist the conditions of their devaluation. Despite multiple, stigmatising experiences, the article shows how they appropriate space and (social) capital, often in tension with other students and college staff. The article suggests that there are questions about AP as an appropriate means to confer value upon young disabled students.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalDisability and Society
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2019


  • Disability
  • Stigma
  • Social Capital
  • Young People
  • Identity
  • Education
  • social capital
  • stigma
  • identity
  • alternative provision
  • young people

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