Disability: Operationally Defined, Social Construct

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As I was saying lecture, to me the concept of being disabled really signifies as being disadvantaged. In society's eyes, those are considered disabled are at a disadvantage from the rest of the world. It may sound vague, and it should, just because having a disability could range from just about anything. For instance, some people may have a drinking disability. Superficially on the surface, they are fine, but emotionally they are at a disadvantage and drinking might appeal as the only satiable coping mechanism. I'm sure that when you think of the construct: disability you are more apt to think about a physical adversity, but the range is incredibly broad. People who experience attention deficit disorder may have a disability, because our society says that one who is unable to focus or have an efficient attention span has ADD. It was interesting to hear the discussion about disabilities in class. What especially stood out was deaf people: the mere fact that people who are deaf admit that there is nothing wrong with them is breathtaking, because to the rest of the world, those people are at a significant auditory disadvantage. Somebody may be missing one or more of their limbs but still consider their self an able bodied individual. Are they disabled? Are you mentally disabled for thinking that they are disabled? Personally, I believe it is at the individual's discretion to justify if they are disabled or at at least disadvantaged or not. Only you know yourself better than anyone else.

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I really like your comment here about how only you can know if you disadvantaged or not. One thing that i noticed when i was considering if disabilities are socially constructed or not is this, it is able bodied/minded people who get to decide what it means to be disabled. I find this extremely ironic because how could they know what its like to be disabled, or for that matter who is disabled and who is not. I think that some communication needs to be facilitated between disabled and non disabled communities so we can work together to make a stronger definition of what is disabled. Maybe it even should be done on a case by case basis because two people would have the same disability but one might not consider it a disability. I think if i learned anything from this article its that people just need to communicate and try to be more understanding of disabled people as actual people.

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This page contains a single entry by John published on November 15, 2012 12:08 PM.

Berlant, "The Face of America and the State of Emergency" was the previous entry in this blog.

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