Employing a critical approach to discourse analysis (CDA), I apply four established models of disability to identify the models and discourses invoked in a set of 17 studies published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, 1990-2011: (a) the medical/deficit model, (b) the social model, (c) the theory of complex embodiment, and (d) the cultural model. I selected the Journal for my analysis because of its influence on scholarly discourses within the music education field. My findings suggest that together with three overarching discourses, the medical/functional/deficit model prevails throughout the dataset. In keeping with humanistic disability studies thinking, I explore the implications of the findings and the possibilities that alternate disabilities models hold for music education research and teaching.

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