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Intellectual disability is often overlooked within mainstream disability studies and theories developed about disability and physical impairment may not always be appropriate when thinking about intellectual (or learning) disability.This pioneering book discusses social theory and philosophical debates in relation to intellectual disability, exploring where and how different theoretical frameworks can be illuminating and providing a critique of the social model of disability. The first part of the book provides an overview of theory and debates as currently applied to disability studies and also looks at where existing ideas could profitably be extended to disability studies. Having begun to develop an innovative theoretical framework for understanding intellectual disability, the book moves onto a second, empirically focused part. Part 2 builds on the framework emerging from Part 1 and discusses the application of disability studies theory in four different substantive areas: gender, sexual politics, parenting and education. A conclusion draws together the common themes across the applied chapters and links them to the overarching theoretical framework.An important read for all those studying and researching intellectual disability, this book will be an essential resource in sociology, social work, nursing and education in particular.