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The Social Construction of Intellectual Disability

The Social Construction of Intellectual Disability

  • Author: Mark Rapley, Murdoch University, Western Australia
  • Date Published: August 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521005296

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  • Intellectual disability is usually thought of as a form of internal, individual affliction, little different from diabetes, paralysis or chronic illness. This study, the first book-length application of discursive psychology to intellectual disability, shows that what we usually understand as being an individual problem is actually an interactional, or social, product. Through a range of case studies, which draw upon ethnomethodological and conversation analytic scholarship, the book shows how persons categorized as 'intellectually disabled' are produced, as such, in and through their moment-by-moment interaction with care staff and other professionals. Mark Rapley extends and reformulates current work in disability studies and offers a reconceptualisation of intellectual disability as both a professionally ascribed diagnostic category and an accomplished - and contested - social identity. Importantly, the book is grounded in data drawn from naturally-occurring, rather than professionally orchestrated, social interaction.

    • First full-length application of discursive psychology to the study of intellectual disability
    • Detailed transcripts of actual interaction between professionals and people categorized as 'intellectually disabled'
    • Challenges many of the assumptions of disability studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book presents a timely challenge to our profession. Mark Rapley's writing just gets better: make sure you get the chance to learn from him.' Clinical Psychology

    '… this is an excellent book. It is a timely reminder in an intellectual domain becoming increasingly deadlocked by polarising debate of the need for detailed empirical analysis.' Disability & Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2004
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521005296
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    A note on the cover
    A note on transcription notation
    Introduction
    1. A discursive psychological approach
    2. Intellectual disability as diagnostic and social category
    3. The interactional production of 'dispositional' characteristics: or why saying 'yes' to one's interrogators may be a smart strategy
    4. Matters of identity
    5. Talk to dogs, infants and...
    6. A deviant case (co-written with Alec McHoul)
    7. Some tentative conclusions
    Appendices.

  • Author

    Mark Rapley, Murdoch University, Western Australia
    Mark Rapley is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Murdoch University. His work applies discursive psychology to questions of power, in particular the interactional and rhetorical production of persons with intellectual disabilities, the 'mentally ill' and Aboriginal Australians. His most recent books are Quality of Life Research: A Critical Introduction (2003) and, with Susan Hansen and Alex McHoul, Beyond Help: A Consumer's Guide to Psychology (2003).

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