The award was granted to Dr Coreen McGuire for a five-year project entitled ‘When Categories Constrain Care: Investigating Social Categories in Health Norms through Disability History 1909-1958’
The funding for this research was provided by Wellcome - a charity that funds research into healthcare difficulties around the world. Dr McGuire explains her project below:
‘We think of categories like height, weight, and sex as integral to health assessment. My project examines how such categories were made integral over the twentieth century through genetic science, and how they worked to construe disability as either biological or social. My approach combines insights from disability history and history of science to examine the historical processes that constructed these categories. This is important because how these categories were constructed influenced subsequent provision and compensation for the disabled. When Categories Constrain Care uncovers the hidden damage categories used in healthcare can cause and reveals the socio-historical forces that have shaped how these categories were used. Making disability visible in the categorisation processes central to science will destabilise the personal health paradigm and invigorate our understanding of how the environment and the individual interact.’
Coreen McGuire's monograph, Measuring Difference, Numbering Normal: Setting the Standards for Disability in the Interwar Period, was published by Manchester University Press in August 2020.