Disability, Identity, and Cultural Diversity

Main Article Content

Stephen French Gilson
Elizabeth Depoy

Keywords

culture, identity, qualitative inquiry, disability theory

Abstract

Eighteen disabled individuals, nine with disabilities present at birth and nine with acquired disabilities participated in tape recorded interviews lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. For this study, disabilities present at birth were defined as those disabilities identified or diagnosed by the age 5 years; acquired disabilities were those disabilities that occur after an individual's 5th birthday.  Life stages were identified as: Middle Childhood/Adolescence (ages 8 years through 17 years); Beginning Adulthood/Young Adulthood (age 18 years through 34 years); and, Middle Adulthood/Later Adulthood (age 35 years and older). The mixed method design relying on semi-structured interview and inductive analysis was used to answer the following research questions: (a) what are the nature and scope of disability cultural identity articulated by informants; (b) and what differences in disability cultural identity are related to informant age, condition and onset? Five themes emerged from the transcripts: fitting in; disability wisdom; it's just what you do; I can do it despite what you say; and disability talk as shared interest versus talk as boring. None of these themes revealed cross disability identity. Despite being unable to answer the initial research questions in the manner anticipated, the data analysis provided important and challenging knowledge and implications for further inquiry and practice.

Abstract 825 | PDF Downloads 206 Word Downloads 9 Text Downloads 97

References

Barnes, C., & Mercer, G. (1997). Doing disability research. Leeds, England: Disability Press.

Charlton, J. I. (1998). Nothing about us without us: Disability oppression and empowerment. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Council on Social Work Education. (2001). Educational policy and accreditation standards [Online]. Retrieved January 7, 2002, from http://www.cswe.org/accreditation/EPAS/epas.pdf.

Finkelstein, V. (1991). Disability: An administrative challenge? In M. Oliver (Ed.), Social work, disabled people and disabling environment, (pp. 19-39). London: Jessica Kingsley.

Gill, C. (1997). “Four types of integration in disability identity development.” Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 9, 39-46.

Gilson, S.F., & DePoy, E (2002) “Theoretical approaches to informing disability content in social work education.” Journal of Social Work Education.

Hahn, H. (1993). The politics of physical differences: Disability and discrimination. In M. Nagler (Ed.), Perspectives on disability (2nd ed.), (pp. 37-42). Palo Alto, CA: Health Markets Research.

Linton, S. (1998). Claiming disability: Knowledge and identity. New York: New York University Press.

Quinn, P. (1998). Understanding disability: A lifespan approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Ravaud, J., & Stiker, H. (2001). Inclusion/exclusion: An analysis of historical and cultural meanings. In G. L. Albrecht, K. D. Seelman, & M. Bury (Eds.), Handbook of disability studies, (pp. 490-512). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scotch, R.K. (1989). “Politics and policy in the history of the disability rights movement.” Milbank Quarterly, 67(2), (Suppl. 2), 380-400.

Scotch, R. K. (2001). From goodwill to civil rights: Transforming federal disability policy (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Scotch, R., & Schriner, K. (1997). Disability as human variation: Implications for policy. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 549, 148-160.

Shakespeare, T. (1996). Disability, identity and difference. In G. Barnes & G. Mercer (Eds.), Exploring the divide: Illness and disability, (pp. 94-113). Leeds, United Kingdom: The Disability Press.

Stone, D. A. (1986). The disabled state. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Stone, D.A. (2002). Policy paradox: The art of political decision making (Revised Edition). New York: W.W. Norton.

Swain, J., Finkelstein, V., French, S., & Oliver, M. (Eds.). (1993). Disabling barriers - Enabling environments. London: Sage.

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.