How disability studies and ecofeminist approaches shape research: exploring small-scale farmer perceptions of banana cultivation in the Lake Victoria region, Uganda


Publication Date 

25 pp

This paper explores the complex intersections of race, gender and disability, whilst offering a critical reflection on how disability studies discourse and ecofeminist approaches together elucidate a subjectivity that is unique, distinct and influential in generating participatory action research knowledge. Reflection and insights are based on empirical work with small-scale farmers (mainly women) in the central region of Uganda carried out for a PhD study. The study aimed to illuminate the broad and complex livelihood experiences of domestic banana (staple crop) cultivators and their perceptions of bio-technological intervention in the form of banana tissue culture (TC) and the associated processes. Subjectivity between the researcher and respondents is a two-way process. As a researcher who is disabled woman using a wheelchair, working in the field required much adaptation physically and mentally. Equally, my disability shaped respondents’ perceptions of me as a person, a researcher as well as their responses. In fact, arguably, my disability facilitated unusual circumstances and opened up doors to sensitive questions, personal accounts and a mutual rapport between the farmers and myself. The influence of the disabled research subject fostered exceptional conditions to propagate inclusive investigative methods to represent ‘the lived experience’ of the farmer in a procedure not often applied in agricultural research.


Disability and the Global South (DGS), 2015, Vol. 2 No. 3

Regional Focus 

Country focus 


Type of material 

Content type