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Lecture 10

CHYS 1F90 - Lecture 10

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Child and Youth Studies
Rebecca Raby

1 March 19 and 21, 2013 Week 10 Ability/Disability * Brief overview of midterm assignment short answer questions Outline I/ Defining disability II/ Our current context III/ Advocacy and agency Main points Disability can be understood as a social concept Definitions and categorizations of disability reflect context and power Definitions and categorizations of disability have social consequences in the lives of young people Disability is reframed by some advocates as a source of strength and resistance I/ Defining Disability A) A cultural categorization Through culture we: - determine what differences between people are important - categorize certain ways of being as better or worse -which way of life is better? What skills are more important than others? - determine what to do with these differences -do we accept them or do we “fix” them? B) Definition contrasted with normality Recall normalization: -Michel Foucault - how a particular version of things takes on the status as being standard, true, or ‘normal.’ -norms are produced within a society/culture -normalization is the process of making things “normal” But what is importantly normal is linked to context and culture Eg chopsticks – accident causes man to lose his hand; has tool he uses to clasp on/pinch things without his hand; disability doesn’t affect him until he goes to China and is faced with chopsticks that he can’t used Eg reading – people with reading disability; in an illiterate society the 2 disability would be irrelevant Categories of normal also linked to power -“normal” is determined by certain people of power in society Eg acceptable dress – in school; faculty had most conflict over hats Eg Lisa Delpit, “Hello Grandfather” – questions reading/literacy; literacy can promote alienation because it is a solitary pursuit; some things are better learned through interaction than by reading a book C) Effects of categorizing disability 1) Categories as self-fulfilling -you can identify yourself simply as someone with a learning disability instead of a normal person with typical struggles 2) Categories providing support and political action - Support – when a disability is identified such as certain accommodations - Political mobilization – parents of children with autism fighting for more support/ coverage for their children’s programs 3) Categories providing challenge -Treated as tragedy – people can’t see past this one aspect of them; treated with pity -Not seeing the full person – people with disabilities cannot be seen as sexual beings because all people see is someone with a disability -Stigmatized – the stigma of mental illness, going to special education classes D) Individualizing 1) Individual identity -something wrong with the individual, not the society; society tries to fix the individual 2) Individual-focused definition: “any restriction or lack (resulting from any impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being” (World Health Orga
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