• Co-constructed caring research and intellectual disability: an exploration of friendship and intimacy in being human

      Rogers, Chrissie; Tuckwell, S. (2016-09)
      For this paper, emotional and socio-political questions lie at the heart of relationships in understanding intellectual disability and what it is to be a human. While the sexual and intimate is more often than not based on a private and personal relationship with the self and (an)other, the sexual and intimate life of intellectually disabled people is more often a ‘public’ affair governed by parents and/or carers, destabilizing what we might consider ethical and caring practices. In the socio-political sphere, as an all-encompassing ‘care space’, social intolerance and aversion to difficult differences are played out, impacting upon the intimate lives of intellectually disabled people. As co-researchers (one intellectually disabled and one ‘non-disabled’), we discuss narratives from a small scale research project and our personal reflections. In sociological research and more specifically within disability research it is clear that we need to keep sex and intimacy on the agenda, yet also find ways of doing research in a meaningful, caring and co-constructed way.