Lee Joselowitz 04 September 2011 ENG106 SE1 Davis Essay

Constructing Normalcy reading response Davis introduces his topic by saying, I would like to focus not so much on the construction of disability as on the construction of normalcy. I do this because the problem is not the person with disabilities; the problem is the way that normalcy is constructed to create the problem of the disabled person (Davis 3). This really summarizes the extract into a nutshell but there are many factors that need to be understood on a deeper level and therefor further examined and discussed. The extent of cruelty to which society can view the disabled is what made the most impact on me in this extract. In England, bills were introduced in parliament to control mentally disabled people, and in 1933 the prestigious scientific magazine Nature approved the Nazis proposal of a bill for the avoidance of inherited diseases in posterity by sterilizing the disabled (Davis 11). Here, any form of disability is viewed as a disease and anyone with a disability is seen as some sort of litter to humankind that should not be aloud to continue polluting society. The idea that Hitler s policy was an implementation of the theories of the British and American eugenicists is also extremely impactful in that it brings his sickening ideals closer to home (Davis 11). It reminds us that so many people are guilty of similar views on disabled people and minorities. The problem occurring is that people are being judged simply by

finance. The study of linguistics stresses that language tells us something significant about human history. I was very surprised to discover in this article that the concept of a norm only enters the English language around 1860. science and mathematics were also extensions to the concept of a norm and therefor to the undesired concept of disability. abnormal all entered the European languages rather late in human history (Davis 4). culture and cognition. norm. and morons. imbeciles. he coins their labels as idiots. Examples throughout this article are evident. unifying people in a way that all bodies are in some sense disabled (Davis 4). The concept preceding the norm is that of the ideal which is unattainable. What interests me as well is the amount of fields that played a role in molding the misconceptions and prejudice opinion on people that are disabled.their expected contribution to society rather than being judged as equal individuals. Further using the study of linguistics to learn about culture and cognition. What were supposedly advancements in linguistics. normalcy. The constellation of words describing this concept normal. It is really upsetting because the labels that disabled people have to live with are also temporarily given to someone who runs into a glass door. or does anything embarrassing or ignorant for that matter. Goddard uses Binet s tests to label different categories of mental disability. astronomy. average. biology. We can therefor conclude that these ideas only became instilled into society and culture late in history as well. statistics. which soon after found their way into common usage and pejorative terms (Davis). The . In my opinion it s harsh and unfair to give the disabled and the embarrassed or ignorant the same labels. we can examine the terms used to label people that are disabled. normality.

First of all is this process reversible? How do we. cannot simply be applied to the human body. Davis concludes by stating that. His conclusion raises many questions for me.problem is that phenomena. then. which is why humans cannot be the subjects of model trends and why formulas created in other fields cannot simply be applied. Every individual has unique DNA and unique physical traits. change years of a developed concept of the disabled. as a society. which seem very logical and correct in science and mathematics. which has become what seems to be a natural way of thinking? It also makes me wonder if it s human nature to demean anyone with great differences to ourselves or is that too a concept that has been slowly instilled into our minds? . to reverse the hegemony of the normal and to institute alternative ways of thinking about the normal and to institute alternative ways of thinking about the abnormal (Davis 17). one of the tasks for a developing consciousness of disability issues is the attempt.

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