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2/11 Capitalism as Disabling Society

gracejtoner's picture

We talked a bit last class about how the ability to be productive is somewhat synonymous with a person's level of disability. To explain, even if a person is in a wheelchair for example, if they are able to be "productive" in a capitalist society, they may be considered by others "less disabled" than someone who has a harder time functioning or producing in the same society. On the flip side of this, thinking of mental health as a disability is still not common. Yes, we have come a long way in terms of overall acceptance of mental health as an issue that isn't just "nerves" but a lot of times people with crippling anxiety or depression are not able to contribute "productively" in a society that demands so much work and constant labor. Does this mean they are disabled too? Again it's a matter of self-defining but I was thinking about this issue when discussing disability history because there was less room for people who don't function "normally' to be accepted and get jobs.