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“To Be” vs. “To Have”

Posted on February 8, 2018

The most entertaining this about the readings of Ladau and Fernandes and de Barros is that the works of the latter gives empirical evidence and an explanation to the phenomena described in the former. Fernandes and de Barros gives evidence that the use of “person with (insert disability or condition) instead of an adjective like “epileptic” is better. Yet in Ladaus work, she argues that the use of identity-first language in some cases is a lot more appropriate than using person-first language . To her, using an adjective to describe a person with a disability is acknowledging the culture and identity around the disabled person. But in the research paper presented by Fernandes and de Barro, it is shown that those who use the word as an adjective may have more prejudices about disabled people. Which was an interesting interpretation to me because how I interpreted the study was that those who used an adjective were more empathetic towards disabled people. Those who used an adjective like “epileptic” believed that such people deal with burdens in society like rejection and were more likely to say that they’ve been prejudice. To me it comes off that the people that use the adjective are more sensitive and wary about how disabled people may be treated in society. I didn’t necessarily interpret this as prejudice in itself. And I also believes it falls in line with Ladaus claim that such adjectives acknowledge the role disability plays in one’s identity and the culture around it. Yet the authors of the research interpreted this as prejudice which can contradict the benefits of the use of  identity-first language.

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