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11 From Global Concepts to Local Stories: Intellectual Disability, Family and Resistance in Ecuador

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Chapter Summary

The chapter examines local understandings of intellectual disability among Ecuadorian families. It argues that a global imposition of concepts and definitions of disability have blurred the local knowledge acquired in time and space by families. It also enquires about the strategies that disabled families and their impaired members have developed to negotiate, to accept, to reject or to confront global discourses that are present in such a construction. Misinterpretations of family practices in the so-called countries of the South have been globally disseminated creating the image of disabled families’ life as linear and invariable. In this chapter, intellectual disability has been analysed as a local construct that although it responds to professional, bureaucratic, moral and cultural categories; a category of intimacy and mutuality could have been adopted by families to resist a globalising process of professional domination. Consequently, more ethnographic research is needed in order to unveil the impact of global definitions on disabled families and to rescue local knowledge and intimate experiences of intellectual disability. 



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