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Grobstein and Clare reflections

lwacker's picture

I was struck by Professor Grobstein's affirmation of Varenne and McDermott's theory that, "cultures provide individuals with a sense of motivation and achievement." This cross-cultural norm, however, has created a disabling effect in cultures "by setting standards of achievement which... [people] can't adequately satisfy."

Professor Grobstein acknowledges this continual practice of cultural disablement and then moves on to suggest what it would be like to create a "non-disabling culture." My first reaction to a non-disabling culture, at least an American culture that actively works to promote enablement and agency was, was that it was an absurd idea. Of course, it's not that I don't think that it would be splendid to live in union and identify with others based on the skills and abilities they do possess, but that I feel we, as humans, are so trained to identify what is different from us.

We spoke last class, when looking at the image of the women in pink dresses, of the voyeur, indentifiying and analyzing difference. I feel this act of voyeruism and practice of being the voyeur is so much a part of the unconscious shared human experience that to promote an abling culture that doesn't point out or identify difference would be near impossible.

Within Eli Clare's own book Exile and Pride he speaks of feeling at odds within his own crip community. He references he feelings of not being crippled enough, not being wheelchair bound or without sight.