My Sociological Identity

Improved Essays
Despite being diagnosed with a brain tumour and intractable epilepsy on my 19th birthday, I continued living as I had done previously for over one year. As my condition was persistently deteriorating, many aspects of my life were changed and I became subdued to the many barriers against continuing a normal life. I had to seize full-time work, which significantly altered my sociological identity. It was at this point that I succumb to identifying as disabled, began to truly accept my new sociological identities, and realise the many different impacts that being disabled has had on my life.

In retrospect, these identity changes where not so much formed due to my physical environment, but rather my sociological environment. Indeed, disability
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363). Disabled identities are often placed upon disabled people in a manner that would remove many other identities that those people would otherwise have (Duncan 2001, p. 1). Identically, I have lost many sociological identities due to becoming disabled, including: cricket player, labourer, kiteboarder, alcohol consumer, runner, and highly sociable. Additionally, and in accordance with research, I do feel less powerful and socially included (Peters 2010, p. 592). Furthermore, psycho-emotional disablism, which occurs when limits are placed on oneself, can be directly and indirectly fostered from: hurtful comments, low self-esteem, staring, exclusion, and structural barrier experiences (Burns, Watson & Paterson 2013, p. 1063). As I have experienced all of these instances and have indeed placed limits upon myself, I do believe I have experienced psycho-emotional disablism. Lastly, receiving disability benefits has been found to be linked to anxiety, insecurity, loss of self-esteem, and felt stigma, and therefore many claimants avoid sharing their claiming status with others (Wolfe 2012, pp. 618, 625). Likewise, I too have felt these emotions since becoming a claimant, and I also avoid sharing my claiming status with most …show more content…
518). A France study on the sense of community felt by participants with motor impairments, it was evident that those who were the most affected by their condition felt the biggest sense of community, whereas those least affected felt no sense of community, which reflects the extent of disability identification avoidance where possible (Ville et al. 2003, pp. 321-331). I too avoided identifying as being disabled and having epilepsy for as long as I could – but when my condition heavily affected me, I also identified with being disabled and having epilepsy. People with epilepsy have a sense of collective identity, and feel a desire to help others with epilepsy (Shostak & Fox 2012, p. 373). Similarly, people with epilepsy identify with other people living with a wide range of life challenges and chronic illnesses (Shostak & Fox 2012, pp. 373-374). Identically, I also identify as wishing to help others with epilepsy, as well as others with a range of illnesses and life

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