Quadriplegia, virtue theory and flourishing: A qualitative study drawing on self-narratives

Shane Clifton (Lead Author), Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Tom Shakespeare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Grounded in the logic of the virtue tradition, the qualitative study “the good life and quadriplegia” collected the self-narratives of people that have lived with the impairment over the medium to long term. This article draws on those narratives to describe how people understood the good life in the context of the losses and hardship of their spinal-cord injury, and the virtues and attitudes that helped them to achieve it. While highlighting the importance of virtue, participant stories resisted the ideology of the positivity myth, recognising that flourishing includes hardships, limitation, and failure, as well as meaning, virtue, and accomplishment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-38
Number of pages19
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number1
Early online date25 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • virtue
  • spinal cord injury
  • narrative
  • the good life
  • flourishing
  • eudaimonia

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