Impairment is a physical fact but disability is a social construction

Basic physical mobility, Domestic life, and Self-care for example, activities of daily living Interpersonal interactions and relationships Community, social and civic life, including employment Other major life areas In concert with disability scholars, the introduction to the ICF states that a variety of conceptual models have been proposed to understand and explain disability and functioning, which it seeks to integrate.

Impairment is a physical fact but disability is a social construction

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.

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.

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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.

Impairment is a physical fact but disability is a social construction

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.

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.

Impairment is a physical fact but disability is a social construction

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.

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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.An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

In keeping with Congress’s direction that the primary focus of the ADA is on whether discrimination occurred, the determination of disability should not require extensive analysis.

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Disability is a Social Construct: A Sociological Perspective on Autism and Disability An accessible audio recording of this post: that word to mean a person who is unable to fully participate in typical life activities because of a mental or physical impairment.

overcome the medicalization of disability and rec - ognize the social consequences of health-related construction alone is assumed to confirm its face theorist and activist who has a physical disability, was a defender of the social model in the past (see Shakespeare & Watson, ) but also has.

The Social Construction of Disability. In chapter I, I argued that neither impairment nor disability can be defined a person's physical, social, and cultural environment, none of the resulting physical conditions is necessarily disabling, mallY do in faet.

A disability is an impairment that may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, The social construction of disability is the idea that disability is constructed by social expectations and institutions rather than biological differences. learning disabilities) some abusers cannot rationalize the non-physical disability with a need for.

Sep 11,  · The Social Construction of Disability: Struggles For Definitions Of The Victims Of Language The medical model of disability describes the conceptualisation of physical impairment that has been dominant, academically and culturally, in Western society up until the ’s.

set a distinction between the term impairment and.

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