Gary Albrecht - Professor of Social Sciences

Gary Albrecht - Professor of Social Sciences


Boulder Colorado
410 – 22nd Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Tel: (303) 442 2127
Fax: (720) 565 9296

Brussels Belgium
117, Avenue du Castel
Brussels 1200
Tel: +32 2 734 1970
Fax: +32 2 734 1980

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Gary Albrecht
Professor of Social Sciences

Gary L. Albrecht is a Fellow of the Royal Belgian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Extraordinary Guest Professor of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium and Professor Emeritus of Public Health and of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  After receiving his Ph.D. from Emory University, he has served on the faculties of Emory University in Sociology and Psychiatry, Northwestern University in Sociology, Rehabilitation Medicine and the Kellogg School of Management and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the School of Public Health and in the Department of Disability and Human Development.  Since retiring from the UIC in 2005, he divides his time between Europe and the United States.  He works in Boulder, Colorado and Brussels, Belgium.  He was recently a Scholar in Residence at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) in Paris, a visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, the University of Oxford and a Fellow in Residence at the Royal Flemish Academy of Science and Arts, Brussels.

His research has focused on how adults acknowledge, interpret and respond to unanticipated life events such as disability onset.  This work has involved studies relating to the traumatic onset of and adjustment to paraplegia, disability culture, stigmas regarding disability, quality of life, onset of disability during and post menopause, HIV/AIDS as a disabling condition, access to and rationing of care for disabled people, interactive relationships between disabled people and professionals, and the political economy of disability and rehabilitation.  His work, supported by over $25 million of funding, has resulted in 16 books and over 140 articles and book chapters.  

Currently he is working on a longitudinal study of disabled Iranian, Moroccan, Turkish, Jewish and Congolese immigrants to Belgium.  This research utilizes personal, in-depth interviews, ethnographies and survey data to examine how: disabled immigrants seek countries for immigration, they deal with immigration and social welfare systems, they seek to find a place in society, they involve local ethnic communities in their lives and they use multiple international networks to organize and order their lives.  His second current project is working with an international team on “Disability: a Global Picture,” Chapter Two of the World Report On Disability co-sponsored by the World Health Organization and the World Bank published in 2011.  His most recent work is serving as General Editor of the eight volume Sage Reference Series on Disability: Key Issues and Future Directions which will be published simultaneously in printed book form and electronically on Sage Reference Online in 2012.  Reviewers comment that “this series promises to become a standard reference in disability studies…  Essential.  Four Stars” Choice 2012.

He is past Chair of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, a past member of the Executive Committee of the Disability Forum of the American Public Health Association, an early member of the Society for Disability Studies and an elected member of the Society For Research in Rehabilitation (UK).  He has received the Award for the Promotion of Human Welfare and the Eliot Freidson Award for the book The Disability Business: Rehabilitation In America.  He also has received a Switzer Distinguished Research Fellowship, Schmidt Fellowship, New York State Supreme Court Fellowship, Kellogg Fellowship, National Library of Medicine Fellowship, World Health Organization Fellowship, the Lee Founders Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Licht Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the University of Illinois at Chicago Award for Excellence in Teaching and has been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  He has led scientific delegations in rehabilitation medicine to the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China and served on study sections, grant review panels and strategic planning committees on disability in Australia, Canada, the European Community, France, Ireland, Japan, Poland, Sweden, South Africa, the U.K., the United States and the World Health Organization, Geneva.  His most recent books are The Handbook of Social Studies in Health and Medicine (Sage: 2000, edited with Ray Fitzpatrick and Susan Scrimshaw), the Handbook of Disability Studies (Sage: 2001, edited with Katherine D. Seelman and Michael Bury) and the five volume, Encyclopedia of Disability (Sage: 2006), published in Japanese in 2012.  Also in 2012, his book, The Disability Business: Rehabilitation in America, was re-issued as an e-book by Sage and is available on their electronic database. 

Gary Albrecht

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