Sociology Question

timer Asked: Nov 8th, 2016

Question description

1) Read the Erevelles article on Race and Disability: Summarize the key arguments (1-1/2 pages) Be sure to include:

a. What are they saying about disability as social construct rather than clinical category?

b. How does disability oppression intersect with racial and gender oppression?

c. How does a disability analysis critique “normativity” and “productivity.”?

d. How does disability increase vulnerability to violence?

2) Read the Singer and the Tran articles? How are they disagreeing in terms of how they are analyzing productivity as well as the value or lack thereof of disability? What is your analysis of this debate? Fully explain. ½ - 1 page.

first and third article uploaded.

second article:

Revolution From My Bed Ngoc loan tran For the past few years I/ve been organizing with really amazing folks around struggles that i care deeply about. when i started experiencing really intense back pain and spasms, i started to fall off of the face of the earth. every single time my back was in literal crippling pain, every time i could not leave bed, every time i could not get up i was directly tying it with my inability to “stand up and fight,”to take to the streets” and to “show up” for my people. i am writing this today knowing that i am not at fault; being disabled is not a fault. i am writing this today also knowing that it’s not my community’s fault that i have felt and still often feel alienated and erased by virtue of my disability and the discomfort i bring up in others. It’s not my community’s fault but i still want to offer compassionate, critical dialogue about what it has meant so far to be disabled, to have been an organizer and to be a part of a community so often invoking visions for transformative change by exploiting the internalized ableism and capitalism in all of us. ableism tells us that unless you are normative with a normative body then you are not capable of participating in society. capitalism tells us that unless you are always producing and always doing then you are not participating in society. and when these two systems come together unless you are a normative person with a normative body producing and doing so in very particular ways then you are not capable of participating in society. i felt these systems translate into my body and tug on my pain. my body and my disability became a host for all of the ways capitalism and productivity use ableism in order to force people into feelings of unworthiness. i felt unworthy, i felt unvalued and i felt that if i couldn’t stand up for the revolution then the revolution would leave me behind, in my bed, in crippling pain. i felt so unvalued that i started to believe that i could deny my disability in order to access these organizing communities again. a line like, “those other people are disabled and i am not” would repeat in my head every time i managed to be present in the ways others had desired for me to be. but the reality was that i am disabled and others were too and they just weren’t visible; i did not “see” them in the communities i frequented. when i was starting to fall off of the face of the earth, when i couldn’t be the power organizer i felt like i was before, there were not many people there to receive me, partly because i did not reach out and partly because no one and nothing signaled to me that i would still be valuable after the confession that i could no longer do all that I’ve done before. at the decline of my participation in the offline world, in physical spaces: at meetings, at protests, at strategy sessions i was met with a lot of questions that folks actually didn’t want responses for. for every honest answer i gave about my pain and why i now limp around with a cane, i was given a distanced look of discomfort and some wishes that i will recover or get well soon. truthfully, there is nothing for me to recover from. i am disabled with no way out and that’s okay. but i do want to heal all of the silences that have communicated with me that disabled people cannot be actively participating in the communities that share this journey of internalized ableism and capitalism. this internalized ableism and capitalism has looked like inaccessible spaces without elevators or wheelchair ramps. it has looked like the expectation that unless we can give our all to the point of breaking (and breaking our bodies or denying parts of our bodies broken, physically and metaphorically and spiritually) we are not doing enough. it has looked like minimal or no efforts to address the possibility that disabled people may want to show up at our meetings but are barred out by lack of captioning, chemical and scent awareness or ASL interpretation. it has looked like demands to keep silent when we are hurting, in pain, sick, unstable, unaligned and never to be aligned with a system that values non-disabled, non-sick and neurotypical people. we can start some of this unlearning and relearning of how ableism and capitalism operates in our lives by first addressing the very concrete and logistical needs of disabled people. it can be as simple as creating checklists for ourselves about the in/accessibility of the spaces we are meeting and convening at, the places we are demonstrating and working at, the places we are taking action and building at. but ultimately, a lot of the concrete and logistical needs of disabled people come into place, are easier to identify and become increasingly important to accommodate when we start working on the inside. when we start working within ourselves: questioning the moments when we are making demands for a certain kind of involvement that requires lots of energy, lots of commitment and lots of movement. we have to start questioning the moments when we are disappointed that we are missing people. who are we searching for and why aren’t they here? and when we - disabled folks - show up, are we going to be centered or counted as moving numbers up in our base? i want to clarify that centering sick and disabled folks in justice work is and is more than the logistical accommodations that need to be made; centering disability is recognizing the vast wisdom that comes from sick and disabled communities experiencing explicit forced normalization of our bodies and our minds and that forced normalization is administered to all of us through systems of racism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, fatphobia and so, so, so much more. I’m also actually not very interested in receiving or facilitating individual confessions of non-disabled privilege. because changing our organizing culture to value all types of participation as molded by the ways we experience our bodies, by the ways our bodies experience the world is not contingent upon whether or not i receive affirmations from non-disabled people assuring me that i have a place in the movement - this i know. but what i am uncertain about yet hopeful for is that we can challenge the ways we have internalized and perpetuated ableism, alienating folks in our communities who cannot show up in the ways we have narrowly defined. we can theorize and make abstract as much as we want systems like ableism and capitalism in order to trick ourselves into believing that it’s impossible for us to enact that sort of violence against one another. but it is possible and we know that. committing to changing our organizing culture is making a commitment to each other. committing to kindness for one another, tenderness, care, critical compassion, love, fearless visioning and hopeful resistance for one another. whether or not we are committed to changing our organizing culture and whether or not we do so successfully is indicative of whether or not we can be truly committed to transforming society as a whole. i’ve spent this past year really unpacking what i have narrowly defined to be “the work.” i have joined others who have carved a space out for writing, storytelling, art and creation to be just as important - if not more than - phone calls, direct action, protests, long meetings and even longer conference calls. i have finally come to a place where i don’t ask myself everyday whether i am doing enough for “The Revolution” or whether i am doing anything at all; finally feeling truly secure in the strength of my vulnerability, honesty and visions to carry me forward alongside others in this long journey home. i write this acknowledging and honoring fellow sick and disabled folks who have been showing up with one another. i write this protecting our right to be with one another exclusively, to affirm each other, to recognize each other. i write this knowing also that we have lots to learn from each other and others have lots to learn from us. i am hopeful that our role in the revolution, whatever it may be, rolling and limping in the streets or sleeping and writing from bed transforms others just as much as it transforms us. sick and disabled folks have been “showing up” and we have been “in the streets” and we do “stand up” and sit down and stay put to kick ass. so, i hope what I’ve shared has been taken to heart; i hope it’s clear that i can no longer be left behind and i don’t want to leave you behind, either. i believe in our collective power, in our visions, in our dreams and i believe that we can do it all together. and if you value my camaraderie then show me. if you value my camaraderie, show me. [image description: photo of loan wearing an orange short sleeve shirt and brown corduroy shorts as they are sitting in the lawn in front of north carolina’s general assembly. they have their floral cane hanging over their right shoulder as they are looking at the camera. this photo was taken at the last demonstration they’ve been to - moral monday in july 2013.]

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