Gerardo Gacharná, Claudia Saavedra & Oscar Cañón (Thesis Director)

Diferencias Naturales ­ Diferencias Sociales: Construcciones Sociales en torno a la Discapacidad

by Gerardo Gacharná, Claudia Saavedra & Oscar Cañón (Thesis Director)
Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Santo Tomás, Bogotá, Colombia
April, 2006

In our thesis, Natural Difference is a form of discourse that highlights human biological differences and Social Difference is a particular kind of meaning constructed within relationship, which takes into account the discourse of Natural Difference and is expressed in the way people treat each other. Disability is a type of Natural Difference. The World Health Organization has published numerous classification manuals about disability and each one proposes a different discourse. In our study, we first interpreted the kind of social relations invited by each disability discourse promoted by the WHO, and then participated within a mainstream classroom, taking into account the interactions between a student diagnosed with a disability and her classmates and their narratives about events between them. Finally we related those interactions and narratives with the types of relations invited by each WHO discourse. All this to suggest that dividing humanity, as we have for so long, might not be the best way to go about it.