Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Reflecting on Wholeness

ericafenton's picture

    I found the Restorative Justice principle of wholeness to be particularly interesting in thie week's readings. Wholeness involves valuing the life history and lived experiences of disabled people, seeing thm as more than their disability. It recognizes the personal values, ideology, sexuality, quirks, hobbies, and identities of disabled people. Through reflection, I have found that wholeness is an important part of many of the principles of Disability Justice. For example, wholeness corresponds to the principle of anti-capitalism. Under a capitalist economy, people are valued based on their ability to produce. Workers are valued only for their productive value, with no consideration of other aspects of self. Importantly, valuing workers only for their productivity is harmful for disabled and nondisabled people alike; no matter one's ability, they contribute much more than their production and should be valued for their entire personhood. Wholeness is also important in cross-movement solidarity. People often fail to consider intersectionality in disability, viewing a person's disability as the dominant aspect of their identity. Without considering other aspects of identity and experiential history, the potential for cross-movement solidarity is limited. For example, in the BLM movement, disabled people- specifically disabled black and brown people - have not been centered even though they are disproportionately victims of police violence and incarceration. In the Me Too movement, the same is true. Centering wholeness, therefore, is one path to cross-movement solidarity and anticapitalism.