Henri-Jacques Stiker, William Sayers's A History of Disability PDF

By Henri-Jacques Stiker, William Sayers

ISBN-10: 0472110632

ISBN-13: 9780472110636

The expanding numbers of students, policy-makers, and political activists who're eager about questions of actual and cognitive incapacity will warmly welcome Henri-Jacques Stiker's booklet, the 1st to aim to supply a framework for reading incapacity throughout the a while. released in 1997 in France as Corps infirmes et soci?t?s and to be had now in a great English translation, the ebook strains the historical past of western cultural responses to incapacity, from precedent days to the current. during this quantity, Stiker examines a basic factor in modern Western discourse on incapacity: the cultural assumption that equality/sameness/similarity is usually wanted through these in society. He highlights the implications of any such approach, illustrating the intolerance of variety and individualism that arises from putting such value on equality. Importantly, Stiker doesn't hesitate to say his personal stance at the concerns he discusses: that distinction is not just appropriate, yet that it really is fascinating, that it's important. the writer is going past anecdotal background to traverse a bit recognized heritage, penetrating to the center of collective attitudes and reflecting on parts of coverage. The sweep is extensive; from a rereading and reinterpretation of the Oedipus fable to present laws relating to disablity, he proposes an analytical background that demonstrates how societies demonstrate themselves via their attitudes in the direction of incapacity, now and then in unforeseen methods, because the examine of aspect is frequently the easiest access into the total of a tradition. The ebook should be of curiosity to students of incapacity, historians, social scientists, cultural anthropologists, and people who are intrigued via the position that tradition performs within the improvement of language and notion surrounding the disabled. Henri-Jacques Stiker is Director of study and member of the dept of the background and Civilization of Western Societies, collage of Paris VII.

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These would then be preconditions for a recon- ciliation that is not just false egalitarianism: to learn that difference is not an exception, not a monstrosity, but something that happens in the natural course of things. But you will see on every side that this understanding no more suffices to banish the fear of disability than does science to eliminate racism by demystifying the fable of the inferiority of certain races. We must then inscribe in our cultural models a view of difference as the law of the real.

Reassociating the question of the disabled with that of society presupposes substantial historical detachment. - But this presupposes, in addition, a question that has gone unnoticed, if we think that beyond the clich6s there is still something to be discovered. It is common today to iden- tify exclusion (at times quite subtle) and protest against it (an action always very divided). The reason for the exclusion can be pinpointed fairly easily: an economic system predicated on profitability; an eco- nomic system that can afford the luxury of generously helping its subjects, who are often its victims, but that considers prevention and sociovocational reintegration burdensome; a cultural system that no longer knows how to make difference viable because its schemas are those of identity, of "all the same"; a system of medical power based on the clinic and its history.

Their dignity, their right to partake fully of religious and social life, are recognized. But is misfortune any the more averted? It can no longer be warded offin the same way. A completely new form of integration-and of exclusion 36 A History of Disability has been introduced. In what follows it will be the sole principle of charity that we shall be dealing with: charity that must be understood here in its root sense, not in its commonplace sense, but in the sense of agape, disinterested love composed of goodwill and respect for equality, well summarized in the word fellowship.

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A History of Disability by Henri-Jacques Stiker, William Sayers


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