Recreating Ability: Social Opportunity and Disability Equality within Integrated Dance Education in Israel and the US

Principal Investigator: Gili Hammer | Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Program in Cultural Studies | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


In this ethnographic research Dr. Gili Hammer examines the cultural meanings, educational politics, and teachers’ and students’ practices, knowledge, and attitudes towards disability and bodily difference within educational programs of disability performance art in Israel and the US. The study focuses on dance education programs partnering students with and without disabilities, taught by teachers with and without disabilities in schools and professional integrated dance companies, in which students and teachers engage in a physical activity not traditionally linked with disability, requiring physical intimacy, collaboration, focused attention, and trust. Offering a comparative analysis of the relations among integrated dance education, social opportunity, and disability equality, the research investigates the ways in which integrated dance education impacts changes in attitudes about disability in the Israeli and the American context. Bringing into mutual conversation the scholarships of disability culture, inclusive physical education, and the anthropology of performance, the study contributes to the understanding of integrated dance education as a site which has the potential to promote change in attitudes towards disability based on inclusiveness, access, and dialogue across social and bodily differences.,

Grant Type:

Small Grant

Grant Amount:




Research Area:

Education and Social Opportunity

Topic / Subject:

Culture, Diversity, Other

Methods / Approach:

Grounded Theory, Ethnographic research, Interviews

Disciplinary Perspective:

Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Education, Other