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The Disabled Culture - The Disabled Culture Jeremiah Shrode...

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The Disabled Culture Jeremiah Shrode Literature Review Intercultural Communication December 3, 2004
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The Disabled Culture Introduction The disabled culture has been around for as long as any other group of people. However, it has only been just recently that they have been recognized as a culture to the rest of the world. This has been accomplished through different acts and organizations that have taken the time to study this unique culture. The disabled culture covers a wide variety of people as well. There are many different types of disabilities. There are those who are fully paralyzed and in wheelchairs to those who can still move around, but they may have a blindness or hearing problem that they must live with day to day. Needless to say, this culture covers different races, genders, and age levels. This paper will look at what defines this group as a culture. What makes them who they are and what separates them as a culture? It will also look at some of the communication issues that surround this culture. It will look at the history, language, types of communication and interactions with family. We also need to know as, a general population, where there needs to be more study done on this group of people. There are many areas, culturally, that we do not yet know about, and these are things that are necessary for other cultures to learn how to interact with them. This paper will also look at these different areas of study and what areas warrant more study when it comes to this culture. Finally, it is important to see how this culture is affected by pop culture. I will look at how pop culture has addressed this group, and whether or not it has been beneficial to them or not.
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The Disabled Culture Defined How do we define the disability culture? Is there one? As I mentioned before, there are so many aspects to the disabled. You can be black and disabled, white and disabled, gay, black and disabled. Then you also have to consider the fact that there is more than one type of disability. According to an article by Susan Peters, many disabled individuals speak of living multicultural lives. Others who are lesbian, or gay and disabled experience a sense of hopelessness—belonging to several separate communities but not fitting into any of them (2000, pg. 583). So what defines the disability culture? What is unique about them that gives them their own culture? In a keynote address by Lois Bragg at the Society for Disability Studies Annual Conference in Washington, DC (in Peters, 2000, pg 586) she notes that in order to become a disability culture, and claim a cultural identity, several requirements must be satisfied: 1) a common language; 2) a historical lineage that can be traced textually; 3) evidence of cohesive social community; 4) political solidarity; 5) acculturation within the family at an early age; 6) generational or genetic links; 7) pride and identity in segregation from others.
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