Disabilities in an African Cultural Worldview

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Edwin Etieyibo

Keywords

Africa, African, Difference, Disability, Disabilities, Standpoint epistemology

Abstract

Disability carries different meanings and symbolisms depending on the social and cultural contexts. These meanings and symbolisms may lead to or perpetuate pejorative and discriminatory attitudes and behaviour towards people with disabilities. In this paper, I discuss a holistic (African) notion of disability in the context of the social and cultural mediation of disability and standpoint epistemology as part of my larger aim of exploring the nature of disabilities in Africa. I examine the sense in which metaphysical disability is related to physio-mental disability and gesture towards the importance of valuing difference, to take the experiences of people with disabilities seriously, and the need to avoid a normalizing culture.

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