Essay on The Medical And Social Models Of Disability

Essay on The Medical And Social Models Of Disability

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The most interesting topic discussed in chapter seven is the sections concerning the medical and social models of disability. I find the difference of the focus of the two models very interesting because one leads to a very different perspective of disability than the other. I find myself aligning more with the thought that both models have to exist in order for the full understanding of disability to come into view. In other words, I do not completely agree nor disagree with either model. To explain, as the medical model is based off of the ideology of normality, which suggests that being in a normal state of good health is the standard for which to base off any deviance or sickness, a definition of normal is required. A definition of good is also required. Does this mean the person is functional in that culture or society? If so, what does functional mean? Does that mean this person can perform certain tasks? If so, what certain tasks must that person be able to perform to be considered “normal”? Because of the ambiguity of the definition, there is a requirement to have the social model to help to provide the answers. As the social model illustrates how the social institutions, labels, and stereotypes impact the perceived abilities of a disabled person, it is shown that the definitions of what is “normal”, “good”, and “functional” all come from the current society in which the person lives. Additionally, as culture and these definitions change with time and new ideologies and technological advances, what defines a disabled person will also change with time. This is also true across cultures as there may be different requirements to be considered “functional” or in good health in other cultures. For instance, a man unable to wal...


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...hey are the result of numerous years of survival. The human race would have not gotten this far if people were individualistic instead of more worried about those around them. And, because of this behavior, it may seem that humans are predictable because there is usually a common collective action taken, but this lets people to infer about the future and see how the human race as changed over time. Personally, instead of asking people to not conform and be more individualistic, I believe the book should ask people to educate themselves more about their social identities and the situations they face in their society and then make an informed decision of whether or not to conform based on their research. This is the way in which people can enact their freedom as human beings: by informing themselves of all sides of a situation and then deciding based on that research.

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