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Audra's picture

I had mixed reactions to

I had mixed reactions to this reading. I can see how culture can be construed as disabling, but the article fails to address the opposing effect-- culture as enabling. For every scholastic failure, there is a success. As one of the successes, I am miffed that the anthropologists denounced my skills as nothing more than a construct to help others fail for someone's dastardly political gain.

I also didn't understand the whole political reasoning behind the culture as disability theory: how does it help politicians/ society to create these arbitrary, solely disabling measures of worth? This question was not answered in the reading.

One example in particular made me a little wary. Page 8 says "without a kinship system, no orphans". My first reaction to this was "What? Are they saying it's better to not have families because some people end up orphans?" I love my family, and while I sympathize deeply with people who don't have families, I cannot wish that nobody had a family to make orphans happy.

While the American education system creates failures, it also facilitates sharing knowledge in a predictable fashion. While familial systems cut out those children who don't have families, those who do can grow the deepest emotional connections of their lives. While my high school can exclude everyone outside of its 100-person bubble, those in the bubble feel safe and warm and fuzzy inside. I'm sure Bryn Mawr can be exclusionary-- people with Y chromosomes are discouraged from attending right off the bat, and anybody not okay with weird traditions probably wouldn't be well suited for it-- I'm so happy here it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.


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