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When Billy Broke His Head Essay

837 words - 4 pages

Reflections: When Billy Broke His Head
Billy Golfus, who suffered brain damage in a motorcycle accident, struggles to find ways to rejoin society and understand disability as a social category (Aufderheide, 1997).

Challenge of Personal Belief
The theory “a person may be impaired, but it is society which causes disability” resonates with me. I agree with the concept of placing the person before the disorder. This assignment has made me take a hard look at how American culture describes impairment. A search on the Web for a synonym of “disability” finds words like: affliction, ailment, complaint, defect, disablement, disorder, handicap, impairment, infirmity. These are not positive ...view middle of the document...

The participants seemed so helpless and crawling on the ground just seemed so unbecoming and undignified (not normal). Social activism, civil rights movements and a rise in human consciousness has challenged the perspective of what is normal. In the American form of democracy people should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals, in some respect. What this implies is “some people are more equal than others.” We all have the same basic civil rights but not all members of our society are perceived within the context of true equality.
Film’s Discussion of PWD
Binary oppositions between disabled and non-disabled are inaccurate and oppressive ideologies (Shakespeare, 1999), and the construction of disability as a binary and the placement of particular individuals on either side is a result of power relations and beliefs about ideal productive bodies and about notions of usefulness, independence, and social and economic contributions (Amster, 2009). The result is an “us and them” divide between producer and consumer, management and labor, rich and poor, male and female, black and white, and abled and dis-abled. Unregulated capitalism leads toward extremes of wealth and poverty, which are not only unjust in themselves but also destroy the foundations of democracy. The film did not discuss the relationship between capitalism and the oppression of PWD.

Ed Roberts’ Statement
Ed Roberts’ statement can be viewed as a form of ageism. Robert N. Butler (1969) first coined the term age-ism, described as the “ultimate prejudice” (Angus & Reeve, 2006). Ageism constitutes negative attitudes and behaviors...

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