Impediments to the Disability Community's Efficacy: Identity Development and the Binary Opposition
Begeny, Christopher T.
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In recent decades, the disability community has promoted legislative change resulting in increased social integration of people with disabilities. However, they remain one of the most marginalized subgroups. There is a socially pervasive, hierarchically structured binary opposition between "normal" and "disabled" that cultivates discriminating social perceptions. It propagates more than just a negative dichotomy between the disability community and the broader community. This report focuses on how the binary opposition affects the structure and efficacy of the disability community. In the context of identity development, the relationship people with disabilities have with the disability label and the disability community will be explored. This report suggests that the disability community would increase its efficacy, as a proponent of the disabilities movement, by complimenting its efforts towards political reformation with a reformation of its own community structure, recognizing the negative influence of the binary opposition.