Jeg vet jeg er annerledes - men ikke bestandig : En antropologisk studie av hverdagslivet til fem personer med psykisk utviklingshemming : [an anthropological study of the everyday life of five persons with intellectual disability]

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi

Sammanfattning: This is an anthropological study of the everyday lives of five individuals with intellectual disability.A particular period of their lives has been investigated through participant observation and interviews. During this period of time, the informants have moved from institutional living to more regular accommodations as part of a reform process in Norway. The study critically examines social values and attitudes that influence and constrain the everyday lives of intellectually disabled people. The study addresses some central methodological and theoretical problems in the field of studies of intellectually disabled. It focuses on the more or less explicitly formulated dilemmas in society's organised courses of action and services for intellectually disabled people. It is argued that the way in which intellectually disabled people are perceived and treated depends on the wider significance that society ascribes to the category 'intellectually disabled.' This hegemonic social understanding has a key-role in shaping 'normal' people's everyday experiences of disabled individuals they encounter. The study employs discourse analysis to describe this influence on different levels of social action. It is shown that the demands and hopes associated with the situation at hand, are dependent on whom takes part in the interaction process, the physical arena, and who dominates the interaction. The study suggests that the disabled are able to interpret 'the other's' experience in relation to him/herself and the surroundings. When disabled have the opportunity to transcend their social confines and stand forth as autonomous individuals, they present a challenge to the prevailing Norwegian understanding of normality.

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