‘Rebuilding a Shattered Life and a Broken Body’: Social Work and Disability Discourses in Israel’s First Decades
2018, Roni Holler; ‘Rebuilding a Shattered Life and a Broken Body’: Social Work and Disability Discourses in Israel’s First Decades, The British Journal of Social Work, DOI/10.1093/bjsw/bcy068
28 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 14, 2018
Building on the renewed interest in social work historiography, this article examines how disability was perceived and constructed by the social work profession in the first decades of the State of Israel. A discourse analysis of articles published in the country’s main social work journal (Welfare, 1957–77) underscores the importance of individualised discourses focused on the disabled person, her body, tragedy and, most importantly, her personality. This emphasis leads to an examination of the personality characteristics of disabled persons as seen or attributed by practitioners. The analysis then examines the social discourses arising from these articles and that which is sorely missing in them — the voice of the disabled. Finally, the study discusses some of the factors behind these professional discourses and conceptualises them within the theoretical framework of othering. Specifically, it concludes that these discourses turned welfare into a cultural location of disability, where disabled people were constructed and (re)shaped as the Other.
Keywords: Disability, Social Model of Disability, Analysis Analysis, Israel, Historical Perspective
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation