Questions of Competence: Culture, Classification and Intellectual Disability

Overview

Intellectual disability - more commonly described as 'mental retardation' or 'learning difficulties' - is a socially constructed phenomenon that varies in important respects cross-culturally. This collection of original essays examines the classification of people as competent and incompetent in the United States, England, Wales, Greece, Greenland, Uganda and Belize. The contributors, anthropologists and sociologists, argue that it is time for a new understanding of intellectual disability. In contrast to medical...
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Overview

Intellectual disability - more commonly described as 'mental retardation' or 'learning difficulties' - is a socially constructed phenomenon that varies in important respects cross-culturally. This collection of original essays examines the classification of people as competent and incompetent in the United States, England, Wales, Greece, Greenland, Uganda and Belize. The contributors, anthropologists and sociologists, argue that it is time for a new understanding of intellectual disability. In contrast to medical and psychological models, a social model of intellectual disability emphasises the cultural and individual variability of incompetence, the intimate relationship between cultural categories of competence and incompetence, and the role of social interaction and networks in its social construction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521623032
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/1999
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors
1 Culture, classification and (in)competence 1
2 Mental disability in the United States: an interactionist perspective 25
3 (In)competence in America in comparative perspective 54
4 Risk, resilience and competence: parents with learning difficulties and their children 76
5 Constructing other selves: (in)competences and the category of learning difficulties 102
6 Work, opportunity and culture: (in)competence in Greece and Wales 125
7 Slow cookers and madmen: competence of heart and head in rural Uganda 153
8 States and categories: indigenous models of personhood in northwest Greenland 176
9 Learning to become (in)competent: children in Belize speak out 194
10 Towards a social model of (in)competence 222
Bibliography 230
Index 246
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