Disability as socially constructed according to the arguments of wendell

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Disability as socially constructed according to the arguments of wendell

I will draw on theories of social constructionism that propose knowledge is produced within culture, linguistically rather than directly reflecting the material world. I will be exploring how these constructed discourses affect the identities of the disabled.

I will take the prominent models of disability, medical and social, and analyse the language that establishes the reality in public consciousness.

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I will consider how the privilege discourse of medicine lends authority to the medical model of disability. I will also look specifically at how the conceptualisation of the self places notions of ability as the acme of existence.

The ways in which this ideology operates through linguistic expression establishes it as objective truth. I will explore various terms that seek to reverse the process of the medicalization of disability.

These include official terms sanctioned by disability movement and the reclamation of abusive terminology by the disabled community. I will propose that the attempts of the social model to redefine disability are severely hampered due to social constructions of ability that are present in our conceptions of the self.

Before studying the construction of disability I would like to first outline some of the basic principles of post-structuralism and social constructionism that I will draw on later in my analysis.

Social constructionism shares much of its theoretical basis with post-structuralism. It proposes that western philosophy values the individual and therefore the notion of individual thought, The very idea of democracy - each individual endowed with the right to vote - derives from Enlightenment presumptions.

Public education also owes its existence to the same investments.

Disability as socially constructed according to the arguments of wendell

However the value we instil in the individual is itself socially constructed originating from the erosion of traditional concepts of religious and feudal power. Modernity brought about the idea that people could influence their own destiny.

Accompanying this sense of self determination was the notion that people were free to gain knowledge of the world solely through their own experience. Social constructionists dispute this claiming that our experiences only inform us about the world via a set of discourses which pre-exist in culture through language.

Knowledge is therefore seen more as a process than a stable structure, It objectifies this world through language and the cognitive apparatus based on language, that is, it orders it into objects to be apprehended as reality. It is internalized again as objectively valid truth in the course of socialization.

Berger and Luckman, In this way the words we use not only act as signifiers to connote the signified object or concept, but acts to create them in the shared consciousness of the culture.

The way we talk about our inner selves using metaphors affects how we perceive emotion. Our internal selves are constructed in various ways using language appropriated from our descriptions of the external word. Gregen discusses how we conceptualise emotion through metaphor.

There are several basic metaphors that guide much of what we can intelligibly say about our emotions. Because we believe that emotions represent the animal in us, we can say, "he bellowed in anger," or "her feathers were ruffled.

These metaphors often describe emotional well-being and self control: The linguistic habit of terming positive emotional states in this way highlights, but more importantly reinforces, the importance that is placed on physical ability in western society. Instilling an idea never truly vocalised that somehow people who physically stand or walk are emotionally stable.

It views the physical condition of a disabled person as the primary restricting factor in their lives. Society, in agreeing to assign medical meaning to disability, colludes to keep the issue within the purview of the medical establishment.

The emphasis of this model is to facilitate change in the disabled person in order for them to be assimilated into normal society. The social model however which was defined by The Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation set a distinction between the term impairment and disability.

In the social model the definition of impairment is what the medical model traditionally terms as disability, which is the actual bodily difference that marks the person out as a deviant from the norm. While the term disability connotes: The two models are not only different in the ideologies that they promote they also drastically differ in their conception.

The social model has been constructed as a counter-narrative to oppose an oppression felt by the disabled community. The medical model is a societal discourse that has developed through the centuries and is therefore interlocked with several other discourses.

Disability as socially constructed according to the arguments of wendell

We value education as a process which instils objective truth about the world into individuals, we therefore value the opinions of the educated over the uneducated.

Of all the academic fields, science is seen to produce the most objective knowledge. However, academic knowledge gained through the formal process of education is no more objective than the beliefs about the world we gain through linguistic relationships.

Scientists seldom carry out research for no reason; typically they have investments in some vision of the good, some benefit that will derive from their work.

It is disingenuous to cloak these investments in the language of neutrality. The medicalization of disability is therefore lent authority from the established objectivity of the scientific discourse.

The medical model positions disabled people as different to the norm and therefore sets-up a binary, which is inherent in the linguistic construction of reality.Woms Exam 1.

Professor Turkel-UD.

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STUDY. (#17) What are some of the ways that disability is socially constructed according to Wendell? Disability is socially constructed are socially constructed by the environment one lives in.

The availability of food, shelter, water. Diseases contracted from contaminated water.

Social construction of disability - Wikipedia

Sep 11,  · The Social Construction of Disability: Struggles For Definitions Of The Victims Of Language In this essay I will examine how disability is socially constructed in modern society. ), according to this theory a word only has meaning in relation to the word with the opposite meaning.

Gregen () uses the example of the. concept of disability is socially constructed. Disability cannot be defined purely in biomedical terms, as both biological and social aspects are interactive in creating andpreventing it, just as feminist theorists hold that our idea of gender is largely socially constructed.

The . Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.

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