Sociology SY3 Disability

Sociology of disability how different researchers see it and current news 


Medical Model

Formed with the rise of the 18th century Enlightenment 

Sees disabled people as the problem and a push for them to be 'normal'

Focuses on what people can not do rather than what they can do

All about reducing pain and discomfort

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Disability Movement

Disabled people should not be reduced to just their impairments

Obession with finding medically based cures also distracts people from looking at the cause of impairment/disablement

Medical model leads to dependency/exlusion difficult to break from 

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Social Model

Adopted by the world health organisation 

defines 'impairment' and 'disability' as very different things

Disability Discrimination Act (1995)  a person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Equality Act (2010)  requires equal treatment in access to employment as well as private and public services

Education Act (1981)

UN Standards Rules on Equalisation (1992)

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Oliver (1990) Person may have a physical impairment of some kind but it only becomes a disability when the society organizes social and economic features that translate the impairment to a disability

Personal tragedy - coming to terms with their disability

Finkelystein (1980) disability is a product of capitalist societies

Before industrialization/urbanization disabled was not a specific group with a shift to work in the factories there was no need for labour of disabled

Shakespeare (1994) disagrees with finkelstein. Prejudice against the disabled people is implicit in cultural representaton in language and in socialization

Bourdieu (1984) HABITUS - the internalized or embodied sense of being and place in society, constructed by powerful institutions. Denial of symbolic capita to disabled people turns into symbolic violence

Charmaz (1983) symbolic violence people who became disabled through an accident, chronic ill-health became concerned about loos of their previous self-image

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