Perspectives of Young Artists with Disabilities

Negotiating Identity

Authored by: Erin J. Hoppe

Handbook of Arts Education and Special Education

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138669598
eBook ISBN: 9781315618135
Adobe ISBN:


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Arts and disability play important roles in identity formation and negotiation. The arts provide a path conducive to exploration, with a clear component of identity (Nelson, 2011). Disability is part of one’s identity but can serve as a barrier to positive identity development unless the individual resists negative stereotypes (Reeve, 2002). Understanding these constructs is important for educators because of their significant roles in the lives of young people with disabilities: during pivotal periods of identity development, confidence-building, and future-planning (Back, Keys, McMahon, & O’Neill, 2016). Educators serve as one part of the greater community influencing development, but they are in unique positions to guide, inspire, and nurture positive identities in young people.

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