Presentation on theme: "Non-disabled – an oxymoron? Exploring the foundations of a divisive label Jennifer Harris University of York."— Presentation transcript:
Non-disabled – an oxymoron? Exploring the foundations of a divisive label Jennifer Harris University of York
Why is the term problematic? 1. Few people enjoy total health today 2. The term is half of a dichotomy (disabled/non disabled). Cannot cope with fluctuating impairment statuses 3. It has divisive and exclusionary effects 4. Non-disabled cast as oppressors
Will the non-disabled stand up? Term is a relational concept within social model of disability, either/or disabled/non- disabled Combinations of pollution, workplace stress family pressures and accidents ensure most people experience disablement over the life course Is the term an oxymoron?
Disabled/non-disabled – its all relative Dichotomy cannot cope with fluctuation in impairment As a labelling system, it is crude and misleading. The stickiness of labels Are such people disabled one day and not the next?
The effects of the non-disabled label Non-disability is associated with oppressor role Applying this dichotomy is an over- simplification of complex relations in society If most people experience impairment in life, then theoretically all social policies would use the social model – why not?
Border crossing between disabled and non-disabled statuses Burchardt /2 Only a small proportion of working-age people who experience disability are long- term disabled…the common perception that disabled and non-disabled people make up two entirely distinct and fixed groups in the population is misleading
Problems of non-disability In a given year one tenth of working age population are limited in daily activities In a 7 year period, one quarter experience some limitation (only 10% of these are disabled throughout) Therefore, disabled status is much more widespread than one-off surveys suggest, disabled category is more fluid than thought and border crossers in fact form the majority of the disabled population
Conclusion Social model theory does not adequately describe an experience of the majority classified as disabled – border crossing Viewed from a border crossing perspective the social model is a crude analytical tool Requirement is for a sophisticated framework that adequately describes social relations without resorting to a dichotomy