The study of transinstitutionalization necessarily varies by context. In this issue we guard against misconceptions that institutionalization is an action that took place in the past, whose loose ends we are now trying to tie together and where contemporary institutionalizing conditions are merely legacies that will, in time, fade away. To think of institutionalization as something of the past is to gently scratch its surface. And, given the wide breadth of transinstitutionalization and the many lives and stories it encompasses, we are aware of the limitations of covering this vast topic in one special issue. Yet, following a call to include disability in developing new approaches to understanding modernity (Van Trigt, 2019), our aim with this collection is to gather the latest research and reflections on transinstitutionalization as a topic that can take flight in our theoretical and cultural imaginations, a topic that can help us transcend the dangers of “theoretical complacency” that come with imagining the ongoing as a past, one-time thing (Bauman, 2000, p. 3).

Published: 2020-09-28