- Apr 2017
As Martha Stoddard Holmes suggests, nineteenth-century thinkers were among the first to see disability as a cause of individual suffering, which has the problematic consequence of minimizing “the importance of the material circumstances that surround all disabilities” while maximizing “the importance of personal agency while minimizing the need for social change” (Fictions of Affliction 28-9).
This part of the article stands out to me for a number of reasons. First, the idea that people with physical and mental disabilities prior to the nineteenth century suffered in a difference sense compared to what they deal with now. Prior to this point, this introduction points out the stereotypes that people with disabilities had in the eighteenth century. Though this is something that is still socially dealt with now, we've taken further measures to help people who deal with specific setbacks that emphasis the overall point on maximizing "the importance of personal agency," and minimizing social change. Overall, this article interests me because it allows me to think deeper about how disabilities have always existed, though they've been handles in a variety of different ways as well as reflect it to how it's handled regarding circumstances we've learned including the role of the doctor and what they can do to help and the resources we had access to then versus now.