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Invisible to themselves or negotiating identity? The interactional management of 'being intellectually disabled'

Rapley, M., Kiernan, P. and Antaki, C. (1998) Invisible to themselves or negotiating identity? The interactional management of 'being intellectually disabled'. Disability and Society, 13 (5). pp. 807-827.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09687599826524
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Abstract

There seems to be a professional (and perhaps societal) consensus that the identity label of 'intellectual disabled' is an aversive, even 'toxic' one. Indeed, Todd & Shearn (1995, 1997) have advanced the suggestion that parents' concerns over the toxicity of the label led them to bring up their children in ignorance of their disabilities, and thus produce people who are 'invisible to themselves'. However, drawing on work in discursive psychology, we argue that their data (and further data from our own work) suggests rather that the social identity of 'being intellectually disabled', and its management in talk, is considerably more fluid and dynamic than the static characteristic of self implied by the construct of an all-embracing, 'toxic', identity. A person with an intellectual disability can, like any other, avow or disavow such an identity according to the demands of the situation in which they find themselves.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Routledge
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/34967
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