Disability and Stigma: Interrogating Middle-Class Experiences in the Social Spaces of Ghana.

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dc.contributor.author Ocran, J.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-22T11:26:12Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-22T11:26:12Z
dc.date.issued 2017-07
dc.identifier.uri http://ugspace.ug.edu.gh/handle/123456789/30199
dc.description PhD. en_US
dc.description.abstract Persons with disability continue to experience stigma which often leads to marginalisation and discrimination, despite the introduction of several legal and policy interventions intended to correct that. These stigmatising experiences have been documented and are well known. However, the known experiences are often from persons who are economically and socially dependent on others for their sustenance. This sometimes makes it seem that persons with disability are an oppressed aggregate of people who all need society‘s assistance to enable them escape their vulnerabilities that the stigma of disability produces. In this study, I sought to disaggregate persons with disabilities on the basis of social class by examining the stigmatising experiences of middle-class persons with disability who are largely absent from the literature in developing countries such as Ghana. Using the hermeneutic phenomenological approach, I sought to find out how middle-class persons with disabilities understand and explain the stigma of disability; what restricts them in the performance of their social roles and activities and how they manage their identities in the presence of the stigma. I conducted 16 in-depth interviews with middle-class persons with disabilities, made up of 11 men and 5 women. I found out that there are hierarchies within the middle-class persons with disabilities. These hierarchies relate to the time of acquisition of the impairment, the family into which one was born and the support received from them as well as the situational factors of interaction. Though they are all middle-class, the resources available to some in their resistance to stigma are not available to others. I also found out that under the influence of the usual stereotypes of disability, middle-class persons with disability are often assumed to be physically, intellectually and financially incompetent. Also, some social institutions that admit middle-class persons with disabilities also stigmatise them because of their disabilities. Middle-class persons with disabilities are admitted into such institutions but are not given complete access to the institutions‘ opportunities and resources. It also emerged that middle-class persons with disabilities utilise various processes of rationalisation and identity management to reconstruct positive identities of themselves over disabilities‘ hurtful identities, as a way of avoiding the negativities that the stigma of disability creates. I recommend that social systems of organisations and institutions within which persons with disabilities may be found are studied in order that institutional arrangements that support and/or oppose the integration of persons with disabilities will be known. The opposing structures can be dismantled and the supporting structures can be strengthened and replicated elsewhere. Since persons with disabilities are not an aggregate, I recommend that interventions for their inclusion are amended to reflect the nuances of the many social identities that are created by situational and personal factors. A one size fits all approach will not be very useful. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Ghana en_US
dc.subject Disability en_US
dc.subject Stigma en_US
dc.subject Social Spaces en_US
dc.subject Ghana en_US
dc.title Disability and Stigma: Interrogating Middle-Class Experiences in the Social Spaces of Ghana. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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