RE: SOCW6051: Discussion 2: Ability and Disability in the Parker Case

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To prepare: View this week's media, Parker (Episode 30).

Think of the many names and labels you may have heard to describe persons with disabilities and those that are currently socially acceptable. The changing monikers given to those with disabilities are evidence of the continual negotiation of the society who labels and those who are so labeled to define what disability is and who is disabled. What do these shifting labels suggest about the social construction of disability?

Society is inconsistent in its treatment and protection of the rights of individuals with disabilities, creating a situation that contributes to marginalization that can complicate other forms of marginalization and oppression. Consider that being labeled with a disability can be simultaneously something to be fought against because of the stigma it entails and fought for because of the access that it grants to social services that meet basic medical needs, aid economic survival, and improve access to education that society can otherwise deny.

Post an analysis of the implications of the social construction of disability. Describe how disability can be defined as a social construct. Explain how that relates to the perception of disability. Be specific and draw on examples from the Parker case to illustrate your thoughts. Also, describe the intersection of Stephanie's mental illness with other characteristics of her identity. Explain how those intersections could serve to further marginalize Stephanie's place and experiences in society. Finally, explain how such marginalization impacts her ability to make choices, use self-determination, and be an active agent with equitable status in her interactions with other professionals.


Gilson, S. F., & DePoy, E. (2002). Theoretical approaches to disability content in social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 38(1), 153–165. Retrieved from Walden Databases.

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader]. "The Parker Family"

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Parker Family Episode 3 Parker Family Episode 3 Program Transcript FEMALE SPEAKER: I want to take care of her. I really do. I mean, she's my mom, and she's not getting any younger. But I deserve my own life, my own place. And I'm always tired of feeling like I'm suffocating all the time. It's just-- It's so confusing. I love her, you know? FEMALE SPEAKER: I understand that you want a place of your own to live. You mentioned before that you and your mother argue a lot. FEMALE SPEAKER: A lot? How about all the time? And all that stuff she hoards, it's just like, I'm drowning in it. It's like there's more room for her junk than there is for us. It just drives me crazy. Right to the hospital sometimes. FEMALE SPEAKER: How many times have you been hospitalized? FEMALE SPEAKER: Let's see. Three times in four years. I think I mentioned to you that I'm bipolar, and I'm lousy dealing with stress. Oh. Wait, um, there was another time that I was in the hospital. I tried to commit suicide. I guess I was pretty lousy at that too, otherwise I wouldn't be here. FEMALE SPEAKER: What made you want to do it? I was a teenager. And when you're a teenager, you find a reason every day to try to kill yourself, right? I was-I was depressed. I remember one night I went out with some of my friends. And, um, they were all looking up at the sky and talking about how pretty the stars were. And all I could think about was that that sky was nothing more than a black eye. It was lifeless, and it could care less about any of us. When they finally let me go home from the hospital, my family-- wow-- what a trip they were. They didn't want to talk about what I had tried to do. That was offlimits. I tried to kill myself. And I they acted like nothing ever happened. I've never told anybody that before. FEMALE SPEAKER: Are you seeing a psychiatrist now? FEMALE SPEAKER: Um, I go to a clinic, and I see him once a month. I also go to drop-in centers for group sessions, mostly for my depression. FEMALE SPEAKER: What about medications? FEMALE SPEAKER: Hell, yeah. They're my lifesaver. FEMALE SPEAKER: What are you taking? ©2013 Laureate Education, Inc. 1 Parker Family Episode 3 FEMALE SPEAKER: Let's see. For the bipolar I take lithium, Paxil. Oh. Wait a minute. I made a list so I would not forget the medications that I take. Let's see. I take lithium, Paxil, Abilify, Klonopin-- Parker Family Episode 3 Additional Content Attribution MUSIC: Music by Clean Cuts Original Art and Photography Provided By: Brian Kline and Nico Danks ©2013 Laureate Education, Inc. 2
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Explanation & Answer


SOCW6051 Discussion 2: Ability and Disability in the Parker Case
A social construct is the reality of a group’s positon in society. A lack of politically
correct nouns to describe the disabled indicates change still needs to occur. There are no shared
assumptions with society or shared understandings. The social construction of disability is the
idea that society and its institutions have the power to construct disability around social
expectations of health (Zolkowsks & Kaliszewska, 2014). Unfortunately, this is not what occurs.
Social constructs is an idea that has been created and accepted by society. There are many
acceptable societal views of the disabled by society, but they do not properly represent this
vulnerable group in society.
For Sara, she is vi...

Really helped me to better understand my coursework. Super recommended.


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