Norwegian version

Public defence: Jannike Gottschalk Ballo

Jannike Gottschalk Ballo will defend her thesis for the PhD in Social Science, specialization Sosial Work and Social Policy with "Labour market participation of young disabled people in Norway - A study of gendered, structural, and persistent inequality".

Trial lecture

The trial lecture lasts from 10:00-10:45. Title: Disabled people as active agents: A void in disability research and theory? Discussion and theoretical implications. 

Public defence

The candidate will defend her thesis at 12:00. 

The defence will also be available via zoom

Join the webinar (
Passcode: 120623 
Webinar ID: 690 9182 3360 

The committee

Leader of the public defence

Dean Oddgeir Osland, Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo Metropolitan University.


  • Summary

    The labour market participation of disabled people has both individual and societal value. Work has special benefits for people with disabilities. Not only by lifting people out of financial insecurity, but also out of social isolation. Work can promote inclusion in other arenas of society, contributing to reducing prejudice and stigma. Employment appears to have a strong effect on the political participation of disabled people. Political engagement may in turn mitigate alienation experienced by disabled people outside the work force (Schur 2002b, 346–47).

    On the collective level, disabled people’s labour market participation is often described as an untapped resource (Lengnick-Hall, Gaunt, and Kulkarni 2008). Estimates by the World Health Organization suggest that about 15 percent of the world’s population are living with disabilities (Jurado-Caraballo, Quintana-García, and Rodríguez-Fernández 2020, 1), many of which remain outside the labour market or experience significant disadvantages within the labour market (Schur et al. 2017).

    The Nordic welfare state rests on a strong premise of labour market inclusiveness, and the sustainability of the welfare state depends on a high employment rate (B. Halvorsen et al. 2013). It is therefore vital, for both individual and societal reasons to promote the inclusion of disabled people in employment.

    Despite the continuous development of anti-discrimination legislation and increasing scholarly interest in disabled people’s labour market activities, the social inequalities of disabled people has not improved significantly in recent decades (Maroto and Pettinicchio 2015).

    Disability studies scholars have criticised research and policy-makers for attributing disabled people’s work outcomes and lack thereof to their individual inability to carry out required tasks, calling for analyses that highlight the social, collective and structural factors of employment injustices, rather than the individual (Oliver and Barnes 2012, 13). This thesis addresses these concerns by taking a societal level and longitudinal approach to explaining disabled people’s labour market participation, seeking structural explanations for inequalities.

    Previous research investigating employment patterns of disabled people have attempted to disentangle individual and social causes of suboptimal work outcomes (Jones 2008; Jones and Wass 2013; Barnartt 2010), including intersectional approaches to disability and gender (Brown and Moloney 2019; Kim, Skinner, and Parish 2020; Maroto, Pettinicchio, and Patterson 2019). However, no previous studies have used full-population data to map disabled 5 people’s work participation longitudinally and over the life course, while applying a gendered, intersectional perspective.