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By Henri-Jacques Stiker, William Sayers

The expanding numbers of students, policy-makers, and political activists who're enthusiastic about questions of actual and cognitive incapacity will warmly welcome Henri-Jacques Stiker's booklet, the 1st to aim to supply a framework for examining incapacity in the course of the a while. released in 1997 in France as Corps infirmes et soci?t?s and on hand now in a very good English translation, the booklet lines the historical past of western cultural responses to incapacity, from precedent days to the current. during this quantity, Stiker examines a primary factor in modern Western discourse on incapacity: the cultural assumption that equality/sameness/similarity is usually wanted through these in society. He highlights the implications of the sort of approach, illustrating the intolerance of variety and individualism that arises from putting such value on equality. Importantly, Stiker doesn't hesitate to claim his personal stance at the concerns he discusses: that distinction isn't just appropriate, yet that it's fascinating, that it can be crucial. the writer is going past anecdotal background to traverse a bit recognized heritage, penetrating to the guts of collective attitudes and reflecting on components of coverage. The sweep is large; from a rereading and reinterpretation of the Oedipus delusion to present laws relating to disablity, he proposes an analytical heritage that demonstrates how societies demonstrate themselves via their attitudes in the direction of incapacity, now and then in unforeseen methods, because the examine of element is usually the easiest access into the full of a tradition. The ebook might be of curiosity to students of incapacity, historians, social scientists, cultural anthropologists, and people who are intrigued by way of the function that tradition performs within the improvement of language and idea surrounding the disabled. Henri-Jacques Stiker is Director of analysis and member of the dept of the historical past and Civilization of Western Societies, collage of Paris VII.

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