Disabled people are "our kids": The sociological gaze on epistemic violence

Author/s Angela Genova
Publishing Year 2021 Issue 2021/1 Language Italian
Pages 14 P. 26-39 File size 249 KB
DOI 10.3280/WE2021-001004
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Disability outlines a semantic space with blurring borders, devoid of univocal and universal definition. It being socially constructed it refers to the three dimensions of power proposed by Arendt: private, political and social. This study focuses on the private dimension of the social construction of disability within the relationship between care givers (family members) and educators. The analysis concerns a national project for the promotion of autonomy for fifty-two disabled people within thirteen organizations, in twelve Italian regions. Discourse analysis is applied to data collected in a focus group with representatives of the organizations involved in the autonomy processes. The study highlights the presence of epistemic violence by both family members/care givers and educators towards disabled people characterized by infantilization processes. However, the issue of the construction of disability on a private level needs to be related to the dimension of the institutional context of familistic welfare policies. Finally, it focuses on the right of disabled people to overcome the silence to which epistemic violence relegates them, generated by a pernicious ignorance that defines their subordination.

Keywords: autonomy projects; caregiver; educator; rights; familistic welfare; pernicious ignorance.

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Angela Genova, I disabili sono "i nostri ragazzi": lo sguardo sociologico sulla violenza epistemica in "WELFARE E ERGONOMIA" 1/2021, pp 26-39, DOI: 10.3280/WE2021-001004