"Oštećenje", "ometenost", "hendikep": ideologija jezika deficita
"Impairment", "Disability", "Handicap": Ideology of the Language of Deficit

Author(s): Miša J. Ljubenović
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Sociološko naučno društvo Srbije
Keywords: disability; scientific terminology; discourse; deficit; ideology;

Summary/Abstract: The almost absolute dominance of the medical (biological, clinical) model of disability in our science and research practice dealing with disability is a very serious obstacle to the reform of social welfare and educational institutions. Hence it deserves to be subjected to thoroughgoing criticism. The view that terms are mere names for objective substances independent of the researcher is prevalent, and it essentializes the systems of classification. The translation of the author’s mental constructs into the status of physical substances is mediated by the common sociopolitical and ideological framework of the society in which he or she works. The whole process is hidden behind increasingly complicated methodological procedures providing the illusion of scientific objectivity. Various postparadigmatic movements in social and human science rightly point to the role of language/discourse in reflections of reality. This article proceeds from the assumption that hegemony, oppression and power relations are woven into attractive forms of narration by means of which the scientists (unconsciously) legitimize status hierarchy and material inequality, which is particularly evident in a kind of human diversity that is usually ascribed the attribute of disability. We should search for the way out by merging “top-down reform” – a demedicalization of the current disability concept and the corresponding terminological apparatus – with “bottom-up reform” – fundamental changes in society itself through political action.

  • Issue Year: 49/2007
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 45-64
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Serbian