Susan Schweik's Ugly Laws: Disability In Public

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In order to understand disability prejudices, we must grasp and understanding of Cresswell notion of “out-of-place-metaphors”. Since millennium, people have been making generalizations about people with disabilities, and a variety of others things including health and the body. Cresswell notion of “out-of-place-metaphors” help us understand the hidden truth behind the metaphors that are being used to describe individuals who are labeled disabled and experiencing other forms of representation. These metaphors were often used to exclude individuals from those who are ‘able’ in society. Throughout this paper I’ll be exploring Cresswell work and Schweik early history of the “ugly laws”. Both of the authors work examines different aspects of how …show more content…
The idea that an impaired body is useless because they’re inability to contribute to society is a form of social oppression. In Susan Schweik work, “Ugly laws: Disability in Public”, the term ugly law was used to describe individuals who were viewed as unfit for society. Individuals who are deemed different by societal norms were excluded from society. Many people were placed in institution or other places because society perceived them different. Nobody should be ostracized for something they have no control over. Schweik presents Stuart Murray idea that, “Disability disturbs, and it disturbs the sense of self in U.S. contexts in special ways, by the ways in which disability offers its characteristically double movement: a seemingly anomalous and deviant version of humanity that nevertheless focuses all too uncomfortably for many on the central issues of the human condition” (Schweik and Murray, 2009). In making this statement, Murray draws the how a person with disability was targeted by the “ugly laws” of their disability was visible to others. These “unsightly beggar” laws were designed to keep these individuals out of the public sphere. Although people with visible disabilities were the initial target of these laws, it didn’t stop authority figures from targeting other groups. If an individual was known to have a disease, or made any attempt to beg for any type of necessity showed signs of disabilism …show more content…
The use of these metaphors alienates people from the social realm. Alienation itself is a powerful feeling of isolation and loneliness, but when you have the other human beings alienation one another because of their appearance, health, and other problems can trigger deviation. This is an important aspect to explore because societal expectations attribute this alienation through the use of metaphors that describing a person. People should not assume that a disability or other forms of human conditions define someone. The author discusses, “metaphors of ill health (disease, infection, plague, epidemic) are often used to label people and activities as deviant and “out of place”” (Cresswell, 1997). The importance of this statement is recognizing how illness can affect a person ability to be normal and could possibly lead to physical affects. In addition, Foucault’s claim about truth, the truth becomes affected when a group of people within the political realm and creates societal norms of what’s acceptable in the public sphere. The epidemic of alienations has created a division and favoring those who are able-bodied. Foucault’s quote describes how ‘truth’ is being “produced through forms of constraint”. An example of this can be seen in Schweik work when she discuss the ugly laws in

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