Author(s): Luborsky MR
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Abstract Adversities facing people with disabilities include barriers to meeting daily needs and to social life. Yet, too, fundamental social devaluation erodes an individual's capacity to retain title to the cultural category of a full person. These cultural adversities are important components in the disablement process. The cultural meanings for physical dependency convey images of childlike, dependent, incomplete persons near death. Using interviews with middle aged and elderly polio survivors, the author identifies key cultural categories, the expectations and values linked with disability and describe the strategies people use to confront, or not, the erosion of personhood. The importance of understanding the category of the person, its historical setting, and evolution are highlighted. Finally, the inversion of traditional cultural logics for defining the personhood of individuals with disabilities is illustrated.
This article was published in J Aging Stud
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism