SOC Assignment 2 parts
Discussion 1: Ability, Disability, and Erasure
Consider the notion that an individual with a disability may feel primarily defined by his or her ability status. Also, consider the historical treatment of people with disabilities and the number of individuals who were euthanized and sterilized in the U.S. and across the globe due to having a disability.
For decades, individuals with disabilities were left in institutions, hidden away from the rest of society. Parents were told if their child was born with a disability, they should have them locked away. Consider in today’s society how people with disabilities are still “hidden.” Think about how many people you see each day that have a visible disability. While there are many hidden disabilities that should not be ignored, it is significant to recognize the limited number of people you see each day with disabilities. Also, consider how others react toward a person with a disability in public. Do they stare? Do they move away? Do they invade the person’s space and ask inappropriate questions? What experiences have you seen in public with a person with a disability? Why do you think society has marginalized this group for so long? Why are those with disabilities limited or eliminated from full participation in society today? Who has the right to decide what makes a “good life” and how is that decision made?
To prepare: Read the case “Working With Individuals With Disabilities: Valerie.”
By Day 3
Post an explanation of why our society has marginalized those with varying abilities historically. Then, explain the role of social workers in supporting clients with varying abilities (not limited to physical and mental) while recognizing and honoring those clients’ other identity characteristics. Use specific examples from the case study in your explanation.
Discussion 2: Ability and Disability in the Parker Case
To prepare: View this week’s media, Parker (Episode 30).
Think of the many names and labels you may have heard to describe persons with disabilities and those that are currently socially acceptable. The changing monikers given to those with disabilities are evidence of the continual negotiation of the society who labels and those who are so labeled to define what disability is and who is disabled. What do these shifting labels suggest about the social construction of disability?
Society is inconsistent in its treatment and protection of the rights of individuals with disabilities, creating a situation that contributes to marginalization that can complicate other forms of marginalization and oppression. Consider that being labeled with a disability can be simultaneously something to be fought against because of the stigma it entails and fought for because of the access that it grants to social services that meet basic medical needs, aid economic survival, and improve access to education that society can otherwise deny.
By Day 5
Post an analysis of the implications of the social construction of disability. Describe how disability can be defined as a social construct. Explain how that relates to the perception of disability. Be specific and draw on examples from the Parker case to illustrate your thoughts. Also, describe the intersection of Stephanie’s mental illness with other characteristics of her identity. Explain how those intersections could serve to further marginalize Stephanie’s place and experiences in society. Finally, explain how such marginalization impacts her ability to make choices, use self-determination, and be an active agent with equitable status in her interactions with other professionals.
Parker Family Episode 3
FEMALE SPEAKER: I want to take care of her. I really do. I mean, she’s my
mom, and she’s not getting any younger. But I deserve my own life, my own
place. And I’m always tired of feeling like I’m suffocating all the time. It’s just– It’s
so confusing. I love her, you know?
FEMALE SPEAKER: I understand that you want a place of your own to live. You
mentioned before that you and your mother argue a lot.
FEMALE SPEAKER: A lot? How about all the time? And all that stuff she hoards,
it’s just like, I’m drowning in it. It’s like there’s more room for her junk than there is
for us. It just drives me crazy. Right to the hospital sometimes.
FEMALE SPEAKER: How many times have you been hospitalized?
FEMALE SPEAKER: Let’s see. Three times in four years. I think I mentioned to
you that I’m bipolar, and I’m lousy dealing with stress. Oh. Wait, um, there was
another time that I was in the hospital. I tried to commit suicide. I guess I was
pretty lousy at that too, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.
FEMALE SPEAKER: What made you want to do it? I was a teenager. And when
you’re a teenager, you find a reason every day to try to kill yourself, right? I was–
I was depressed.
I remember one night I went out with some of my friends. And, um, they were all
looking up at the sky and talking about how pretty the stars were. And all I could
think about was that that sky was nothing more than a black eye. It was lifeless,
and it could care less about any of us.
When they finally let me go home from the hospital, my family– wow– what a trip
they were. They didn’t want to talk about what I had tried to do. That was offlimits. I tried to kill myself. And I they acted like nothing ever happened. I’ve never
told anybody that before.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Are you seeing a psychiatrist now?
FEMALE SPEAKER: Um, I go to a clinic, and I see him once a month. I also go
to drop-in centers for group sessions, mostly for my depression.
FEMALE SPEAKER: What about medications?
FEMALE SPEAKER: Hell, yeah. They’re my lifesaver.
FEMALE SPEAKER: What are you taking?
©2013 Laureate Education, Inc. 1
Parker Family Episode 3
FEMALE SPEAKER: Let’s see. For the bipolar I take lithium, Paxil. Oh. Wait a
minute. I made a list so I would not forget the medications that I take. Let’s see. I
take lithium, Paxil, Abilify, Klonopin–