“Like a Flower, Breaking through the Asphalt”: Parents’ Images of Children with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Cover Image
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„Като цветенце в асфалта, което търси да пробие“: родителски образи на деца с интелектуални увреждания и аутизъм
“Like a Flower, Breaking through the Asphalt”: Parents’ Images of Children with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism

Author(s): Gergana Mircheva
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Social psychology and group interaction, Health and medicine and law
Published by: Институт по философия и социология при БАН
Keywords: parents’ representations of children with disability; intellectual disabilities; autusm; care; stigma; (ab)normality; normative scripts; hybrid identities; ambivalent experience

Summary/Abstract: The article traces the images that parents produce of their children with intellectual disabilities and autistic disorders. The analysis combines concepts, influenced by E. Goffman’s theory of stigma, on the one hand, and critical disability studies, on the other. The role of the normative discourses that filter individual response to disability is considered, but a zone of possible resistance to these discourses is also outlined. It is argued that parents’ stories contain both negative and positive representations, which are entangled, have complicated temporal dynamics and reveal ambivalent experiences. These dual images are located within several registers: denial and/or acceptance; normalcy and/or difference; punishment and/or gift; suffering and/or joy. The main aim of the study is to find out to what extent and in what forms the representations that parents provide and the hybrid children’s identities they construct, reproduce but also contest the existing normative conventions of life with disability, of parenthood, childhood, and subjectivity. The article focuses on the conventions of “normality” which have a prescriptive, and therefore, a normative character, and whose contents are determined by psycho-medical and more general socio-cultural scripts.

  • Issue Year: 51/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 140-160
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: Bulgarian