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Disabled people socializing

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson discusses disability as an identity and the conflicts raised by genetic testing and counseling on Laura Hercher’s podcast, The Beagle Has Landed.


3:00 “I didn’t understand myself as a disabled person because there was no identity group to belong to before about 1980.” Rosemarie explains how our current understanding of the right to opportunity and inclusion is a relatively recent development.

12:00 Disability as an identity group: diverse, porous, and socially constructed. Many people don’t choose to identify as disabled, Rosemarie says… until they run up against barriers and need to ask for accommodations.

17:45 Difference versus disability: is it a useful construct? Differences are an identity, Rosemarie says – and Identity is about “essential differences” – we may want to believe in them, but they can also be limiting. The answer? “We have the right to structure our own relationship with any of these identity groups.”

24:00 Disabilities and genetic counseling: the conflict, says Rosemarie, is one of autonomy and equality, as the right to “all the information” comes up against the threat of “eliminating... see more