A critical exploration of institutional logics of de-institutionalisation in the field of disability policy and practice: Towards a socio-spatial professional orientation


  • Griet Roets Ghent University
  • Matthias Remmery Ghent University
  • Dries Cautreels Ghent University
  • Simon Allemeersch Ghent University
  • Toon Benoot Ghent University
  • Rudi Roose Ghent University


This contribution throws light on how historical as well as contemporary interpretations of ‘de-institutionalisation’ in the institutional field of disability policy and practice have transformed over time and place/context, yet continue to be essentially ambiguous and contested. We address that the current ‘community turn’ has gradually produced a problematic dichotomy in disability policy and practice between ‘segregated living in residential, institutional contexts’ being framed as something to avoid, and ‘inclusive living in the community’ as a desirable goal. We suggest that a socio-spatial professional orientation might enable us to de-institutionalise this dominant dichotomy.






Special Issue: (De)Institutionalisation in the Fields of Social Services and Social Work