Midterm analysis

Midterm analysis - Kristin Olson Definitions of Normality...

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Kristin Olson Definitions of Normality Midterm Analysis The term disability describes a very wide range of people and in fact as discussed in class the disabled community accounts for almost half of the population in the US. One can go on to list all the characteristics and aspects of a person that label them in societal terms as disabled but to shorten the definition it is to say that there is something significant enough that hinders that person’s ability to meet the social “norm”. There have been many sociologists who have studied the relationship of disabilities in society and the labeling of such people in accordance with the theory of deviance. To label people is an innate characteristic of human beings that hasn’t always been negative. To deny that there are differences between one another is to deny part of that person’s identity but to treat others differently due to those differences, saying one group of people is any less human than another denies their rights as a human being. Through the many perspectives that have evolved; the labeling theory, identity politics, social constructionism, medicalization, and social-movements, there are both strength and weaknesses in looking at disabilities. The labeling theory says that deviance and conformity result from the reactions of others to what people do rather than the actual acts themselves. The best way to put it is as it was written in class; “labels are applied differently to different groups and result in different consequences”. In other words, those who create the labels for others create this concept of deviance. It isn’t actually what the person is doing that is deviant but others decide that that act is deviant. Therefore the people then act accordingly to fulfill the label placed on them due to self-fulfilling prophecy and reinforcement of people’s
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opinions of them. Those who tend to label a group of people are those who are in power and decide what the norm is and anything that does not meet that is defined as deviant. David L. Rosenhan wrote an article called “On Being Sane in Insane Places”, which discusses the strength of the label on a person despite the reality. There was a group of people who were chosen by researchers to admit themselves into separate institutions around the country, taking on different identities from who they really were. Each person reported they had a different illness and each person was admitted. In all of the cases the person was automatically treated as if their illness defined who they were. For instance there was one who was “diagnosed” with Schizophrenia and as soon as they were admitted stopped showing signs but was still treated as though they were Schizophrenic. They reported that nurses would rarely speak to patients and acted as though the patients
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course SOCI 21400 taught by Professor Andreashernandez during the Fall '08 term at Ithaca College.

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Midterm analysis - Kristin Olson Definitions of Normality...

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