Sociology and Disabilities


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“If the technology became available for the deaf to hear completely, would you want your deaf child to have this technology?” It is every parent’s dream for their child to grow up healthy and happy. There are so many children in the world that do not have the ability to hear, and it is a horrible thing. Many would think it wrong for a parent to not want to give their child the gift of sight. If I had a child that was deaf, I would do everything in my power to help them get their hearing. If the technology was there to fix this disability, why wouldn’t anyone want their child to have it? “840 babies are born with a permanent hearing loss every year.”(NDCS of UK). This is a horrible number to hear, that so many children will never be able to hear. If there was any technology able to restore a child’s hearing it would be a shame if the parents didn’t get it. “Deaf children face tremendous difficulties learning to read, write and communicate with the hearing world around them.”(NDCS of UK). Not only would you be giving your child the gift of hearing by using this technology, but you will also help child to be able learn on the normal level of other children.
     It is also true that we can change and enhance our body features through elective cosmetic surgeries. Many people choose to undergo these surgeries because they are unhappy with their appearance. I feel that these procedures are unnecessary, and that you shouldn’t undergo surgery unless you need it for your health. I believe that people go through these procedures purely because they have low self-esteem. Society tells them that there is something wrong with their body, and they feel that they need to change it to fit in. I think that this is a way to see if someone is truly happy with themselves, as we all should. No one is perfect, so no one should try to be it. It’s just a waste of time and money on their part all so they can fit in, which I think is pathetic. It is always a risk to undergo surgery, and there is no reason to put yourself in unnecessary risk. I think that it is ridiculous to put yourself through something like that. If I had a ten year old dark-skinned African American daughter who wanted blue contact lens, have her skin chemically lightened, and straighten her hair, I definitely say no.

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There is no way that going through this radical change could be beneficial to her health, and it is completely unnecessary. What good reason is there for a ten year old girl to completely hide her looks so she can appear white. It’s a sad thing that society places that kind of stress on someone so young. That a young girl would go through so much to think that she must be ashamed to be African-American. There is no reason for people to make a young girl feel that bad about herself that she would want to completely and permanently change her looks in such a fashion. I would try to explain to her that there is no reason for her to be ashamed of who she is and of her background. No one should have to feel that bad and ashamed of their heritage that they would want to completely hide it that way.
     Discrimination and stereotypes of the differently-abled, racial minorities, gays and lesbians (et al.), and females are not all the same, but can be quite similar. First off is the differently-abled. It is difficult for a disabled person to receive an education and a job as easily as the rest of society. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was adopted by congress in 1990 which “protects disabled persons from discrimination in employment and stipulates that employers and others (such as schools and public transportation systems) must provide ‘reasonable accommodation’ for disabled persons.”(Anderson & Taylor, p531). Racial minorities also face a great deal of discrimination, and have for many years. Gays and lesbians have also recently suffered from the same stigma that the disabled, minorities, and females suffer from in the world and workplace. Gays and lesbians are not a protected group in the workplace. “Although Congress has outlawed discrimination on the basis of ‘race, color, religion, sex, or national origin’, it has not yet seen fit to include ‘sexual orientation’.”(Understanding Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians). And according to Anderson & Taylor, “Gays and lesbians are minority groups in society in that they have been denied equal rights and are singled out for negative treatment by dominant groups.” Women have been discriminated against throughout all of American history. There has been a lot of progress made to help achieve equality, but there is still a glass ceiling holding women down in the workplace, and women are not given the same rights and privileges of men. As a result, there has been a lot of feminist theory trying to achieve equality. “Feminism has many meanings, but at the very lest, it refers to beliefs and actions that support justice, fairness, and equity for all women, regardless of their race, age, class, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.”(Anderson & Taylor p.375).
     Is one form of oppression more harsh than another form? That all depends on the form of oppression. There has been far more violence in the acts of racism than other forms of oppression, such has sexism and homophobia. However, all forms of oppression are harsh, no matter who it is targeted against. No one wins when all that’s being expressed is hate and fear. Not only is there oppression against minority groups, but also from the government. One of these is the oppression of our government against Native Americans. “"If the Indians kill another FBI by golly they'll be coming in here like fleas again, but Anna Mae's an Indian," said Loud Hawk. "Just proves Indians are nothing to white people. I keep thinking a lawman got her that's why they're covering up. That always in my mind," he said. Loud Hawk is head of the traditional Tokala Society and one of the those who invited the AIM group to come to Oglala.”(Anna Mae Archive). This just goes to show that there is oppression everywhere in the world.
     No forms of oppression are valid. There’s not one type of oppression that doesn’t have true roots. There is reason why people need to be held down like that, especially when it’s not for a good reason. The fact that people would be so cruel as to hate someone just because of who they are is ridiculous.

Anderson & Taylor, Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society, p.531, 195, 375.

Anna Mae Archive, http://www.dickshovel.com/AIMIntro.html#Anna.

NDCS: The National Deaf Children’s Society, http://www.ndcs.org.uk/ch_deaf/c_intfr.htm.

Understanding Discrimination against Gays & Lesbians, http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/soc/355lect07.htm.



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