Citizenship and Voting: Experiences of Persons With Intellectual Disabilities in Sweden
2013 (English)In: Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, ISSN 1741-1122, E-ISSN 1741-1130, Vol. 10, no 4, 326-333 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In Sweden, citizenship and participation in society have been emphasized as important for persons with intellectual disabilities for over four decades. The aim of the study was to describe, from a longitudinal perspective, how persons with intellectual disabilities experience citizenship and voting. The characteristics of becoming and being a voter were also identified. Thirteen women and seven men, aged 22-55 years on the first interview occasion in 1998, were interviewed three times more in regard to general elections in Sweden during the period 1998-2006. A constant comparative method was used in the data analysis. Two-thirds of the participants voted in at least one of the three elections and a group of seven people did not vote at all. Age and significant persons were the most crucial factors for voting. The characteristics of a voter were having the idea and belief that one should vote as a citizen and having experience of voting so that one knew how to do it. In both these cases, significant persons and age were of importance. The authors suggest that the development of Swedish social policy may have influenced the voting behavior as people born during the 1940s and 1950s voted more often than people born during the 1960s and 1970s. Additionally, their social networks may enable persons with intellectual disabilities to make full use of their right to exercise political citizenship and to vote.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell , 2013. Vol. 10, no 4, 326-333 p.
intellectual disabilities, participation, qualitative, Sweden, voting
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102848DOI: 10.1111/jppi.12056ISI: 000328217800009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-102848DiVA: diva2:683837