C. Edwin Vaughan
Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Research and Teaching

For the past five years my research interest has been focused on a macro approach to the study of rehabilitation practices. I am particularly interested in the political and economic interests of institutions, agencies and professionals who work with people with disabilities. I argue that needless dependency, contrary to the stated goals of rehabilitation policies, develops several contexts (the elderly, the mobility handicapped, the developmentally disabled, the hearing disabled, etc.); I have particularly focused my research on the social creation of blindness.

As my resume indicates, l have published two monographs and more than fifteen articles on this subject in the past five years. My work has included a comparative perspective, another neglected research approach to this subject.

I plan to continue to develop my present theoretical, comparative and historical perspectives on this topic. My next paper will analyze the disability rights movement, not as a health or welfare issue, but as one of human rights. I will focus on the social arrangements that either promote or diminish the human rights of disabled people. A dimension of this task is to further clarify the concept of human rights and to locate this concept in a sociological context.

As a secondary but somewhat related research interest, l plan to continue my research collaboration with several colleagues with whom I developed relationships while in China in 1991, 1992 and 1994. Other than articles mentioned in my resume, one result is a monograph, Mao as Poet and Revolutionary Leader that will be published late in 1999. A colleague in China translated the poetry into English. I organized it into various periods of Mao's life and included what I think to be a more balanced perspective on Mao's contribution to modern China than is evidenced in some recently published monographs.


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Professional Problems
  • Seminar in Social Control
  • Social Perspectives on Aging
Select Publications

Vaughan, Edwin and James H. Omvig. 2005. Education and Rehabilitation for Empowerment. Information Age Publishing Inc.

Vaughan, Edwin. 1998. "Differences in Social Participation of Blind People in the People's Republic of China and the United States." World Blind, Summer 1998.

Vaughan, Edwin. 1998. Social and Cultural Perspectives on Blindness. Charles C. Thomas & Company.

Vaughan, Edwin. 1999. Mao as Poet and Revolutionary Leader. General Hall Inc.