Social Constructionism Theory

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The social constructionism theory believes that individuals use categories to organise their understanding of the world. A social construct is understood to be a concept that society creates and then they organise their thoughts and behaviours around it. It could be argued that disability is a socially constructed problem in society. This essay will discuss in more detail what social construction means by drawing on relevant concepts. It will examine how disability became a socially constructed problem in modern society. This essay will also explore the models of disability and the way the media influences the social construction of disability. This text will then look at the problems disabled people face due to the stigma from the public and…show more content…
It could be argued that a lot of the problems disabled people face are socially constructed. This is because many of their problems would not exist if it was not for society and society’s view of them. This negative view has had a powerful impact on the disabled, often making them victims of abuse. In one study, 56% of disabled people stated that they had encountered hostility, violence or aggression from someone they didn’t know because of their impairment (Papworth Trust 2014). People with impairments are also considerably more likely to be a victim of crime. Among 16-34-year-olds, 39% of the disabled were reported to experience crime, in comparison to 28% of non-disabled people (Papworth Trust 2014). This is very troubling for disabled people as some may not feel safe within society. It could prevent them from carrying out everyday tasks having a drastic impact on how they live their life. This would not be a problem for those with impairments if individuals didn’t have this negative, socially constructed view towards them. Another common problem amongst the disabled is the feeling of exclusion. One reason disabled people may not feel included in society could be because individuals might not know how to approach them. Aiden and McCarthy produced a report in 2014 which showed that 67% of British people did not feel comfortable speaking to…show more content…
The social construction of disability as a problem occurred after the onset of capitalism. Many disabled people found themselves out of paid work, meaning they became a new category for dependency. Some people began to view them as a welfare burden which in turn created the social problem of disability. The media also have a huge impact on the social construction of problems. As the media have recently been portraying the disabled in a negative manner, members of the public now have the same views towards them. Consequently, disabled people are left with many socially constructed problems that they have to face which may affect their lives greatly. However, many acts and movements have been introduced to help the disabled with their problems. More efforts have also been made to change people’s views towards disability, for example, using the social model of disability more often. Despite the efforts, disability is still a socially constructed problem within society. Hopefully with more effort, disability will no longer be viewed in this light as social constructs are not permanent and change as society

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