Cultural Context and Stigma Discussion

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Cultural Context and Stigma

Cultural context looks at individuals in society and how they are raised and how their culture affects their behavior.  It incorporates learned values and shared attitudes among groups of people.  It includes language, norms, customs, ideas, beliefs, and meanings and individual characteristics. Therefore, when the cultural context of a person or group is not understood, Stigma may occur. Culture is very important because our cultural orientation is present in every interaction, and it is how society identifies us as an individual or group. We tend to make assumptions about a person’s beliefs or behaviors based on a single cultural indicator, particularly related to race or ethnicity, when our cultural identities are a complex weave of all the cultural groups around us or that we belong to that influence our values, beliefs, and behaviors.

Recent knowledge emerging out of the disability rights movements and grounded in disability studies research promotes a new understanding of disability as a socially constructed culture and as a social identity. Many people support the emerging issue of “disability culture” or “the culture of disability” and many more dispute disability as being a cohesive force to form a cultural group. As we challenge these assumptions and traditional views of disability, our beliefs can become more meaningful and relevant to the disability community and more informative to social development.  

1.  After reviewing the Learning Resources, please respond to the following questions:

Part I:  Please answer the following question with a detailed explanation. 

 a) Taking into consideration what constitutes a culture — Is there a convincing foundation to declare that there is a disability culture?

         i)  If Yes, please explain and give two examples as to why, or

        ii)  If Not, please explain and give two examples as to why.

 b) To-Do –Watch Video:  WIPEOUT STIGMA. This version has subtitles. Amanda, Jill, D’art, and Max share personal stories of their mental health journeys. YouTube Film:

 c) Explain at least two important messages that you learned from watching this video.

2.  Society tends to create stigma and place labels on people that are believed to be different than the majorly in many ways. In many instances, these actions become part of the norm of society and spread from one generation to the other. We also understand that stigma and labels, in most of the cases, have negative consequences for the targeted group.  

Part II: Please answer the following questions:

 a) What is a stigma, and how does it affect our perception of other people?

 b) Describe two forms of the stigma that society applies to people with disabilities.

 c) As society members, what can we do to eliminate the stigma placed on disability and people with disabilities?  Please explain and give one example.

Part III: 

To-Do: Watch Video: I’m not your inspiration. Thank you very much. (Also listed in the Learning Resources).  A film by TED Ideas worth spreading at 

 a) What to do you consider a takeaway message from watching this video.

 b) Would you recommend this video to others (family, friends, coworkers, etc.)?

****Questions/statements must be identified with their respective numbers Ex: 1. 2, 3, etc. 2. a, b, c, etc. If there is more than one Part to the discussion activity each Part I, Part II, etc. must be identified as well.

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