This textbook brings together a wide range of expert voices from the field of disability studies and the disabled people's movement to tackle the essential topics relevant to this area of study. From the outset disability is discussed from a social model perspective, demonstrating how future practice and discourse could break down barriers and lead to more equal relationships for disabled people in everyday life.
An interdisciplinary and broad-ranging text, the book includes 50 chapters on topics relevant across health and social care. Reflective questions and suggestions for further reading throughout will help readers gain a critical appreciation of the subject and expand their knowledge.
This will be valuable reading for students and professionals across disability studies, health, nursing, social work, social care, social policy and sociology.
Chapter 46: Stereotypes
In everyday human interactions, people make sense of unexpected information presented to the senses by relating it to similar, already internalised, perceptions. Shoham explains:
Related to our tendency to categorise is our desire to group together people who we define as having identical or similar attributes … We apparently feel happy and secure when we are able to classify people into groupings by some common denominators. Mostly, however, we classify groups of people … in order to attach to them value-laden labels.
(Shoham 2006: 44)
Classifying this way involves stereotyping. Stereotypes are ‘vivid but simple representations that reduce persons to a set of exaggerated, usually negative characteristics’ (Barker 2004: 263). Stereotyping involves the operation of power, because it is powerful social groups, like the media, who get ...