My Books

I have written four books:

Disability hate crimes: Does anyone really hate disabled people?

Disability hate crimes are a global problem. They are often violent and hyper-aggressive, with life-changing effects on victims, and they send consistent messages of intolerance and bigotry. This ground-breaking book shows that disability hate crimes do exist, that they have unique characteristics which distinguish them from other hate crimes, and that more effective policies and practices can and must be developed to respond and prevent them.

With particular focus on the UK and USA’s contrasting response to this issue, this book will help readers to define hate crimes as well as place them within their wider social context. It discusses the need for legislative recognition and essential improvements on the reporting of incidents and assistance for individual victims of these crimes, as well as the need to address the social exclusion of disabled people and the negative attitudes surrounding their condition.

If I only had a brain: Deconstructing brain injury

This book offers a rich, insider’s viewpoint of the lived experience of brain injury. I used a cross-disciplinary theoretical approach (drawing upon the social and medical models of disability and combining them with lessons from feminism, queer theory, postcolonial and postmodern literature) to frame an enriching narrative about the lived experience of brain injury.

Disability and diversity

The book, which is rich in both sociological analysis and in practical applications, highlights the social, cultural, and political factors that mean disability is more common among some social groups than others. It also highlights the barriers that particular groups face in trying to address their medical needs. These difficulties can range from problems with insurance to language problems in dealing with health professionals, or even sexism in medicine. The book also contains many suggestions for reforming health care practices and policies to improve service delivery.

Sellout, the story of the SEQEB dispute
(This book is now out of print, but can be borrowed from various libraries).

This book explored the biggest strike in Australia’s history, the 1985 South East Queensland Electricity Board dispute. This was Australia’s version of the Miners’ strike in England, of the Air Traffic Controllers’ dispute in the US. The ‘New Right’, represented by the Bjelke-Petersen Government, set out to smash the union movement. It introduced draconian laws which were unheard of in Australia’s history – not only banning the right to strike, but also introducing compulsory conscription into the electricity industry; outlawing unions unless they were company-controlled; introducing massive fines for taking action to support the sacked electricians; banning protests and limiting the right to free speech, and more. The union movement responded with statewide electricity blackouts, marches and rallies by tens of thousands of people, and far more. At one stage over one million people were either on strike or out of work. Just as the union movement was on the brink of victory, however, the union leadership made an agreement with the Government to call off all industrial action, and the 1004 workers were left without a job. Undaunted, the workers continued to fight for their jobs – and faught the union leadership – for over two years.

This book was groundbreaking because I had unlimited access to the Strike Committee, and interviewed thousands of workers who had been involved in various aspects of the dispute. It is, I believe, the most comprehensive oral history of the labor movement ever collected in Australia. Workers from every industry – from rail to construction, teaching to mining, plumbing to power plant employees – gave their insights, and described their involvement in the dispute.

If you hover above the link at the top of this page, “My Books”, you will be taken to sites I recommend for purchasing the books. For instance, I recommend buying directly from Ashgate Publishing rather than other sites such as Amazon because they usually give discounts unavailable elsewhere.