The Social Construction of Disability
This is a social work course which focus on Disability Studies and social work, please only use the video i posted ( check on the link -instruction document) please answer all question posted on the instruction file.
Instructions for assignment/ required reading for assignment/ unite notes.
Instructions for assignment
After completing the readings and reviewing the video, prepare a 500 word summary that outlines your responses to the following questions:
1. Reflect on how the messages delivered by Aimee Mullins (2014), contradicted or supported your previous existing understandings of disability? What has changed for you?
2. How might you, in the words of Mullin’s (2014), “dance with adversity” in your social work practice?
3. Consider the following quote from the Lola et al (2012) article:
“The non-disabled gaze invalidates impaired bodies undermining the physical capital of disabled people, which in turn compromises their opportunities to convert it into economic, cultural, social and emotional capital”. (p.200)
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why or why not? What message does the statement provide for an anti-ableist social work practice?
4. How will you continue to explore the concept of internalized ableism?
From the Required Readings Collection:
1, Loja , E. Costa , E. Hughes, B and Isabel Menezes (2013) “Disability, embodiment and ableism: stories of resistance”Disability & Society, 28:2, 190-203, DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2012.705057
( uploaded in file)
2. Video Review –
Aimee Mullins (2009) “The opportunity of adversity” TEDMED 2009 Filmed Oct 2009 http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_the_opportunity_of_adversity?language=en
Unit Notes – The Social Construction of Disability
The Social Construction of Disability
This Unit requires that you reflect on many questions related to your beliefs and values about disability; to notice what disability models you have internalized and why; and to understand the implications of different disability models for practice. The course takes the position that understanding, integrating and internalizing the social model of disability is the foundation of anti-oppressive practice.
Central to this Unit are questions about who defines disability, for what purposes, and what the consequences of these definitions are, both for disabled people and for non-disabled people. Various attempts have been made over the years to create ‘models’ to describe and define disability. However, critics of these models point out they individualize disability, problematize disability and locate disability in individual bodies that are defined as wrong (Wendell, 1996, p. 360). These all serve to “other” disabled people. Wendell explores and explains the social model of disability as a more useful alternative. This model, which came out of the disability rights movement turns the focus away from disabled people and disability and onto the able-bodied and ableism. Framing disability as a social justice issue means that the difficulties that face disabled people are located within disabling social structures and attitudes.
The social model arose through the disability movement’s critique of responses to the care needs of disabled individuals. Through rejecting the medicalised or therapeutic model of disability in which power lies with professionals and disability is pathologised and individualized, the category ‘disabled’ was transformed into a collective political identity. Disability is understood as being constructed not through physical or mental impairment but through social, cultural and environmental barriers such as inaccessible education, housing, public spaces and employment environments; discriminatory health and social service systems; absent or inadequate benefits; and negative cultural representations. The social model requires us to engage with the marginalization and exclusion that disabled people are forced to face in disabling environments and challenge medical and social responses that enforce dependency.
Critical Thinking Moment
What does it mean for our practice and for us as people, if we understand disability as individual rather than social?
How is our practice impacted if we see most disabilities as resulting from individual failure to properly manage one’s life and avoid risks – including the relatively new requirement that parents/ mothers use genetic testing or amniocentesis to avoid having a disabled child?
Alternatively, if we work from the social disability model and “value the differences of people with disabilities…what implications does that have” (Wendell, 1996, p.8) for our practice?
As your course text (Withers, 2012) points out, defining disability serves a larger political purpose. It reinforces the idea that disability is located in individual bodies (or brains); it makes disability into a problem of the disabled person; and it reinforces the power of doctors to pronounce on disability. But what then happens for people with unrecognized, undiagnosed or undefined problems? Where does illness, especially chronic illness, fit into disability definitions?
Defining disability is a social practice nested in inequity and inequality. What is particularly relevant for social workers is that assessment procedures not only have consequences for those being assessed (some of them visible and some of them invisible) but also have consequences for the assessors. For example, being entitled to assess another person affirms the centrality and rightness of the professional activity of assessing (and thus confirms our identity as professionals) and reinforces hierarchical worker/client binaries. Disabled people are not only “other” they are clearly “less than” because they require professional intervention to properly manage their lives.
Assessors usually operate under both explicit and implicit pressure to define disability narrowly in order to limit access to benefits and entitlements, depending on the class position of the individual being assessed. When an individual has the ability to purchase benefits and services, s/he can minimize or render invisible many aspects of their disability. As Wendell (1996) notes, race also impacts on disability definitions. A racialised person may want to ensure that their disability is defined and recorded so that it is not seen as part of the negative stereotype ascribed to their “race”. For example an Indigenous person with a mobility impairment may be motivated to be clearly defined as disabled to avoid the “drunken Indian” label.
As social workers engaged with disabled people we must always reflect on whether we are contributing to dismantling ableism and the social factors that create disability while at the same time ensuring the access of disabled people to services and entitlements. We therefore need to be cautious about terms like “vocational rehabilitation”, “facilitate” and “adaptation” as they construct particular notions of who is being adapted to what. We also need to be aware of how the failure, refusal or unwillingness to provide assistance can be rooted in processes and procedures that reflect unstated ableist organizational or occupational attitudes that unnecessarily delay or deny or minimize access to equipment and services. Finally, we must be alert to how shame is engendered in disabled people (or in families advocating for disabled children or those who cannot advocate for themselves) through stating or implying that they are asking for too much.
These considerations bring us to the important question of who owns the problems or challenges associated with disability: The individual? The family? Society? Those who are not disabled are often most comfortable with the notion embedded in the charity model of disability – that disability is not a social responsibility. Non-disabled disability “experts”, including social workers, can assure themselves of money, careers and personal advancement through the charity model. Within the charity model, ability (like Whiteness in other contexts) is the norm – the unnamed paradigm of humanity. It is everywhere yet unnoticed. What is noticed, and stigmatized, are departures from the norm. Because disability is rarely entirely private, these departures are visible to us. Disability is public because it is visible or because the disabled are forced to declare themselves disabled to ensure accessibility. Wendell (1996) asks us to reflect on the symbolic meanings attached to disability. She suggests that the disabled are symbolically “other”: imperfect (compared to an unspoken able-bodied and able-minded ideal); evidence of a failure to properly control the body or mind; and evidence of the vulnerability associated with difference.
Unit Notes References:
Clare, E. (2001). Stolen bodies, reclaimed bodies: Disability and queerness. Public Culture 13(3), 359-365
Dossa, P. (2005). Racialized bodies, disabling worlds: “They [service providers] always saw me as a client, not as a worker”. Social Science and Medicine 60, 2527-2536
Kumari Campbell, F. (2008). Exploring internalized ableism using critical race theory. Disability & Society 23 (2), 151-162
Wendell, S. (1996). The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability. Routledge: New York.
The euro debt crisis.
1. Literature reviews
Frame the research question in the academic and/or policy debate;
Discuss existing empirical evidence and theoretical debate and results on the topic;
Organized by topics,not by papers
2. Methodology and tests
Modeling, in this part, a model SHOULD be set up. And at least 4 variables in the model. 10-year government bond yield and CDS spread must be used.
Result analysis. Relate the results to previous works in the literature.
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