A rabid inclusionist

Dr. phil. Dóra S. Bjarnason, professor.

School of Education, The University of Iceland

e-mail  dsb@hi.is

I have never fitted comfortably into a “creed” or  “-ism” even though I have tried at different points in my life. I was never a good Christian or church member. I was a mediocre Marxist as a student, a lukewarm feminist in my adult years. Disability studies and inclusive education have presented me with new insights and challenges both in my private and academic life. As a British trained sociologist I am worried about the growing evangelicalism and political correctness in parts of our field. I embraced Tom Shakespeare’s  Disability rights and wrongs (2005) and felt his arguments as a healthy breeze sweeping away dogmatic clouds. I also loved Tom’s blog published here recently asking for plainer language and swifter action. Continue reading

Disablism and acceptable prejudice

Jan Grue, Research Fellow, Oslo University College, Norway

In the wake of the July 22 killings in Oslo and on Utøya, the public debate in Norway has to some extent, and quite regrettably, shifted from declarations of unity and tolerance towards a more acrimonious tone. Following a heavily disputed psychiatric report in which the perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a nationwide discussion about the intersection of psychology, medicine and extremist politics is, at the time of writing, very much unresolved.

A major feature of the debate is, of course, demonization. The extreme right would prefer the image of a lone madman to gain wide public acceptance, in order to put as much distance as possible between itself and a mass murderer who undeniably subscribed to extreme right-wing politics. Continue reading