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B ad S amaritan

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

The neglect of very cognitively disabled people by critical sociologists and social historians is examined. Two approaches which might explain this neglect are examined, both critiques of conventional social constructionism. In one, constructionism is criticized for its failure to account for the effects of very extensive disability. In the other, the consructionist approach to "social problems" is criticized for its failure to address the social exclusion of the most powerless. While these critiques are accepted as valid, it is argued that a deeper explanation of the neglect of very cognitively disabled people within critical social science is required. This neglect is argued to be a product of the sociological "sensibility" itself, and of its engagement with the socially critical impulse, so that critical social scientists' faith in these foundations needs to be qualified to allow the recognition of very cognitively disabled people.

Affiliations: 1: Woodsworth College, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A9, Canada


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