Minority is a term that has become particularly visible within the rehabilitation literature due to the increasing focus on the application of minority models to the understanding of the disability experience. At the same time, it is also one of the most ill-defined and misunderstood terms. In this article, the authors explore the meaning of minority status by discussing its core elements from a representational theory perspective. By doing so, they show that minority status is different from racial, ethnic, and cultural membership, although it partially overlaps with each of these constructs in some contexts. The authors argue that although race, culture, and ethnic minority status can attenuate or exacerbate minority status in some settings, these demographics are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for minority status. Finally, the authors illustrate how many people with disabilities meet the essential criteria for minority status as outlined by representational theory and draw implications for rehabilitation practice, education, and research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health