The trouble is that (using words to express concepts that lie beyond them)
is that cognition itself is embodied so far as the thery goes, in our
neuronal structure and something that I as someone who does not have
mainstream neurology am very aware.
It is a regrettable fact that the configuration of my neurones governs what
I can think as well as what I do think and that at some point this neuronal
configuration interfaces in a social world I am not well figured for.
From my divergent thinking very very lateral brain, I come up with ideas and
concepts and critiques that cannot be expressed in words and in that
personal cognition I see (that is a metaphor of course) that most people
struggle to understand what they think that words contain, and to me who
thinks beyond them it is patently absurd that a mere word "impairment" can
contain what it purports to, as I do not know how that might be constructed
in the nearest Japanese equivalent or in BSL or whatever, and that the
arrogance of those who pronounce in English and construct theries around
what English languag allows, knows no bounds, it is as if we were still in
days of King James, and the latter day adherents who think that God not only
spoke English but the peculiar English of the King James era.
This argument is not real, people here are too too within a particular
thinking rut or niche to realise that the world of cognition and linguistics
goes far beyond any narrow ideologies that have been constructed within a
social context that even those who came up with the theries deny.
As I say, it takes a particular way of thinking to get beyond this, and
sadly those who don't think as I do, won't think as I do, and we will all in
this world of misunderstanding and miscommunication continue to hold to our
dogmas, as they are our securities, or to use words poetically (yes I can,
autists can,) they shore these fragments against there ruins.
And honestly is the exclusive language of that subdivision of a subdivision
of sociology called disability studies really relevant beyond that if it is
not understood ?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: The Disability-Research Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Alex J. Lubet
> Sent: 02 September 2004 14:25
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: impairment
> I'm new to this list and it's my first post, but folks on DS-HUM (mostly
> in the States) have probably heard more from me than they care. The
> subject of the social construction of impairment interests me greatly as
> I've engaged it for some time and it figures prominently in my
> book-in-progress and should always loom large in any discussion of
> music, which is my field but hardly a prominent one in disability studies.
> I agree with those listers who argue that both disability and impairment
> are socially constructed. Since many have weighed in on this and it's
> very complex, I'll leave it at that. I think, though, that that makes
> locating the distinction between the two particularly important. You're
> probably all aware that the two terms are used pretty interchangeably
> (as is handicap) in common parlance in the States, though in DS we use
> the terms pretty much as folks on this list do.
> If the difference between disability and impairment isn't that they
> are/aren't socially constructed, then it's got to be something else,
> otherwise there's no useful distinction. Before I audition that
> distinction as I see it, I think it's important to emphasize that social
> constructions are very real, that social realities are still realities,
> and that their impact can be huge. Even if something is socially
> constructed, it's socially constructed with a basis that's very real,
> although sometimes that basis is only a very real perception that
> doesn't have much underlying. There's always a basis for the
> identification of disability and impairment, but both require
> identification, an action that requires human agency, and is thus social.
> In my experience, the case for social construction may actually be more
> easily made with the familiar analogy to gender/sex, than directly with
> disability/impairment. One does this by challenging the widely accepted
> notion that gender is socially constructed and sex is not. I would
> submit that the difference between gender and sex is not that they
> are/aren't socially constructed, but that they are/aren't embodied. The
> aspects of gender that are so often cited, such as clothing and
> cosmetics, aren't embodied. The aspects of sex that are so often cited,
> such as genitalia, are, of course, embodied, but the common taxonomy of
> precisely two sexes based on precisely two categories of genitalia is
> socially constructed. My current research includes a legendary jazz
> singer with a sexual impairment and it's taken me to intersex studies
> where one encounters a lot more variety than two sexual flavors of human
> I think we can make a very good case for impairment as embodied,
> disability not. That takes nothing away from social construction of
> either. Easily amplified low vision is generally not regarded as an
> impairment. Mobility that calls for assistance (that is about as easily
> available as a pair of glasses) is generally regarded as an impairment.
> Both are embodied, but the is/isn't impairment distinction is socially
> constructed. Left-handedness is rarely construed as an impairment in
> most English-speaking places these days, but it is in many places. In
> certain musical situations LH creates challenges to getting the job done
> that are far more daunting than blindness, which is regarded as more
> significant in most situations.
> Hope that's useful and interesting and, as one new to this terrific
> list, not rehash. I have much more to say about it, but that's why
> people write books.
> Alex Lubet, Ph. D.
> Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music and Jewish Studies
> Adjunct Professor of American Studies
> Head, Division of Composition and Music Theory
> University of Minnesota
> 2106 4th St. S
> Minneapolis, MN 55455
> 612 624-7840 612 624-8001 (fax)
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