Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture, and Politics

By Michelle Fine; Adrienne Asch | Go to book overview

internalized. Perhaps we should undertake a more historically grounded consideration. Empowerment for contemporary women stands in opposition to the muted ambivalence, the depression and thwarted development of the earlier generation of our mothers.


CONCLUSION

This exploration of the consequences of early attachment and encountering the sex-gender system for disabled girls frames questions, not answers. We come more and more to see that personality, sexual experience, and identity are constructed for any individual through the dynamic processes and interactions with primary figures. It is through such processes that values, proscriptions, and standards flow, and are projected into the interaction. We will need to know in the specific instance of a particular young woman with a particular disability how it is understood, accepted, rejected, interpreted by her family in concert with, against, in spite of the messages and demands of the larger culture, and how she internalizes, makes sense of, transcends the intrapsychic consequences of that interaction.

We have identified what we might call hot spots in development in which to ask particular questions. Do the depression and conflict, the guilt and ambivalences more prevalent in the early responses to disability by parents affect attachment? Does the disability come to figure in the complex projections and identification of mother-daughter experience in a way that adds to the girl's difficulties in separation? What happens between parent and child in families where attachment and gender identity are negotiated? What would happen if, in the interventions in early development for disabled children, the focus was placed on the importance of being seen as whole, as gendered, and as sexual?

These questions offer the avenues to knowing and recognizing the full complexity of the disabled woman's experience. Disabled women are framing their own questions ( Asch and Rousso 1985). As with many women, the charting and naming of a full humanity can feel like flying in the teeth of a powerful gale. The questions here insist on the full humanity of all women, forging a connection that respects and does not submerge heterogeneity. For disabled women As for other women, this process will entail the development and sustenance of a language for their particular pains and pleasures.


References

Asch, A. 1984. "The experience of disability: A challenge for psychology". American Psychologist 39 (5):529-36.

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Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture, and Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction: Beyond Pedestals 1
  • Notes 31
  • References 32
  • I: Bodies and Images 39
  • Notes 40
  • 1. on Embodiment: A Case Study of Congenital LImb Deficiency in American Culture 41
  • Notes 68
  • References 70
  • 2.Sex Roles and Culture: Social and Personal Reactions to Breast Cancer 72
  • Notes 85
  • 3. in Search of A Heroine: Images of Women with Disabilities in Fiction and Drama 90
  • References 110
  • Ii: Disabled Women in Relationships 111
  • Notes 112
  • 4. the Construction of Gender and Disability in Early Attachment 115
  • References 136
  • 5. Daughters with Disabilities: Defective Women Or Minority Women? 139
  • References 170
  • 6. Friendship and Fairness: How Disability Affects Friendship Between Women 172
  • Notes 192
  • References 192
  • 7. Disability and Ethnicity in Conflict: A Study in Transformation 195
  • Notes 213
  • 8. Never-Married Old Women and Disability: A Majority Experience 215
  • Note 224
  • References 224
  • Iii:Policy and Politics 227
  • 9. Women, Work, and Disability: Opportunities and Challenges 229
  • References 243
  • 10. Disabled Women and Public Policies for Income Support 245
  • References 267
  • 11. Autonomy as A Different Voice: Women, Disabilities, and Decisions 269
  • Notes 292
  • 12. Shared Dreams: A Left Perspective on Disability Rights and Reproductive Rights 297
  • Notes 305
  • 13. Smashing ICons: Disabled Women and the Disability and Women's Movements 306
  • Notes 329
  • References 331
  • Epilogue: Research and Politics to Come 333
  • Notes 336
  • About the Contributors and Index 337
  • About the Contributors 339
  • Index 343
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