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Disability and the multicultural dialogue

Written Material

This article raises some complex and pertinent questions around the term 'multiculturalism'. Despite this, it is very easy to read. The author does 3 things really well. Firstly she re-defines 'multiculturalism' away from being concerned solely about the singular experience of 'ethnicity', towards a focus on a number of key elements such as race, ethnicity, gender and disability that work to shape an individual's identity. Secondly, she also argues that people need to analyse the 'dominant culture'. Doing this will enable people to expand their understanding of what happens to people outside this dominant culture. Without analysing institutionalised forces such as racism, sexism and 'handicapism', little can be done to combat them. Thus 'multiculturalism' does not entail simply learning about others' cultures, but also learning about one's own. Lastly, she analyses 'disability' within this context at a number of levels. Keywords: Cross cultural, Theory. Searchwords: attitudes, social role valorisation, education

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O'Connor, Susan
Centre on Human Policy, Syracuse University
Publication Date
1 June 1993
Cross Cultural, Theory
United States

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