BERNARD ETUOKWU BSc Social Sciences Part- time Year 1.
Consider the Social Model of Disability. How useful is this model in helping us understand the nature of Disability discrimination? Inspired by the writings of various disabled activists and scholars the 1980’s and the 1990’s,disability studies has taken on an emancipatory turn because of the paradigm shift by sociologists and activists from explaining disability in terms of individual pathology or biomedical to the ways in which environmental and cultural barriers exclude disabled people from mainstream society and everyday life. This essay will provide a definition of the social model of Disability as opposed to the bio medical model and discuss briefly the paradigm shift that has taken place in terms of the research, understanding and explanation of the subject of disability. And examine the contribution of some prominent writers in both disciplines .I will also discuss some of the problems observed in the way the non-disabled relate with the disabled and also argue in support of scholars like Shakespeare and C.Thomas(2004) who believe that the Social model of Disability is inadequate does not provide all the answers and needs to be updated or modified to include the subject of impairment and to take account of other sociological leanings in coming up with an adequate theory of disability .I believe that the social model of Disability is foundational and should not be abandoned entirely. This essay will be concluded on a note that ‘discrimination or prejudice in whatever form it takes is not an inevitable consequence of the human condition but a form of social development or construction. Prejudice or discrimination against the disabled can be eliminated by arresting and transforming that development by continuing with economic and political initiatives that includes the construction of a culture that acknowledges, accommodates and celebrates human difference whatever its cause...
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Mertens,D.M and Ginsberg P.E(eds) 2008.: The Handbook of Social Research Ethics,London: Sage,pp458-473
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