The Identity Behind Disability Identity Essay

1475 Words Dec 6th, 2016 6 Pages
The Identity Behind Disability
The concept of "identity" has become both a contested and a fertile field of research and theory in recent years. Several assumptions have come into focus: that identity can be structured upon shared social experience; that there are fixed identities of persons with disabilities; and that a significant role in the formation of identity. However, it is important to understand the rhetoric versus practical realities to assess what can free persons with disabilities from fixed identities that have been enforced overtime by regulatory regimes embodied in cultural and societal prejudices. Disability identity refers to possessing a positive sense of self and feelings of connection to, or solidarity with, the disability community. A coherent disability identity is believed to help individuals adapt to disability, including navigating related social stresses and daily hassles. Identities help people make sense of different and distinct parts of their self-concepts. For people with disabilities, an identity should contain relevant content and goals linked to disability. In effect, disability identity should guide people with disabilities towards what to do, what to value and how to behave in those situations where their disability stands out, as well as those where it is not salient. To explore disability identity, we decided to examine some published narratives written by people with disabilities. Disability narratives are the stories individuals with…

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