Between Equality and Discrimination: Disabled Persons in Romania

Elena-Loreni BACIU, Theofild-Andrei LAZAR


Using a qualitative approach based on aninstitutional ethnography of social organization ofwork inclusion for disabled persons, the currentpaper addresses the specifi c ways in which theindividual experiences of the Romanian disabledpersons, in society and on the labor market, areinfl uenced and shaped by the social relations oftextually mediated discourse. It draws on the resultsof a larger study, conducted between 2014and 2015 in Romania, as part of a research projectfocusing on the dysfunctionalities that impedethe labor market access of disabled personsin Romania and the institutional arrangementsand structural mechanisms that underpin thesedysfunctionalities. The paper reveals a particulartype of consonance between the Romanianlegislative provisions, institutional arrangementsand local practices, that allows for the concept of‘protection’ of the disabled persons to transcendits initial purpose and philosophy and start workingagainst the disabled persons. The article alsosheds some light on the way in which the fragmentationand parallelism that currently governthe system of protection for the disabled personshamper the development of a consistent vision,backed by a homogenous approach, in dealingwith or managing the multiple negative issuesassociated with disability in Romania.


disability, labor market access, administrative / legislative dysfunctionalities, occurrences of discrimination.

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