Functional Diversity, Bioethics and Sociological Theory : a New Approach to Disabilitiy

  • Agustina Palacios Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • Javier Romañach Cabrero Foro de Vida Independiente
  • Miguel A. V. Ferreira Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Carolina Ferrante Univ. de Buenos Aires / Univ. Nacional de San Martín
Palabras clave: Functional Diversity, Disability, Habitus, Simbolic Violence


This paper provides an overview of a new approach proposed in Spain in 2006 by two of the authors: The diversity approach (PALACIOS y ROMAÑACH CABRERO, 2006). This new approach is a vision based on Human Rights and considers the work on the field of bioethics a basic tool to achieve dignity for people who are discriminated on the basis of their disability. Furthermore, the “disability” concept is considered inadequate, and instead, the term “functional diversity” is proposed, and it shall be used from now on. In order to support this approach, a series of normative arguments and structural conditionings that support that discrimination, shall be proposed. They will be based on critic sociological theory, mainly based on Pierre Bourdieu and Michael Foucault ideas, although a broader development on these ideas may be found in: FERRANTE y FERREIRA (2007, 2008), RODRÍGUEZ DÍAZ y FERREIRA (2008) and FERRANTE (2008).