My project is to develop a phenomenological, constructionist, symbolic interactionist theory of the narrative productions of meaning in the public realm. Situated within…
My project is to develop a phenomenological, constructionist, symbolic interactionist theory of the narrative productions of meaning in the public realm. Situated within our globalized, technologically mediated world characterized by extraordinary social, political, economic, and moral fragmentation, my basic question is quite practical: How can public communication be understandable and persuasive to audiences whose experiences, world views, and moral sensibilities are so different? Here I explore how the more-or-less widely shared systems of meaning in symbolic codes and emotion codes are incorporated into narratives that circulate in the public sphere. I conclude with arguing that more attention by symbolic interactionists to these productions of meaning would be good for the study of culture and good for symbolic interactionism.
A history of the intellectual origins of the debate over the astructural bias is presented. The chapter summarizes both the emergent bias thesis and the charge of an…
A history of the intellectual origins of the debate over the astructural bias is presented. The chapter summarizes both the emergent bias thesis and the charge of an astructural bias. The major works within this debate are reviewed. It has been found that the astructural bias still exists within the work of contemporary interactionists. The conclusion is that if interactionists want their work to be taken seriously, then they must seriously confront the distinguishing concept in sociology: social structure.
Purpose: Artists with disabilities use their bodies and minds to create art. Yet, the prevailing cultural narrative that art is “therapeutic” for people with disabilities…
Purpose: Artists with disabilities use their bodies and minds to create art. Yet, the prevailing cultural narrative that art is “therapeutic” for people with disabilities shifts attention from their creative accomplishments to their disabilities. Some ally organizations attempt to challenge the narrative that art is merely therapy for people with disabilities. However, drawing on narratives of “helping” people with disabilities attracts funding. This chapter examines how organizations navigate empowering allies while still maintaining funding.
Methods/Approach: This chapter uses narrative analysis of material accessed through a nonprofit arts-based disability ally organization's website to address two research questions: 1. How do ally organizations both draw on and resist cultural narratives of disability in order to garner public support?; and 2. How do personal narratives of disabled artists associated with ally organizations support and/or resist organizational and cultural narratives about the connection between disability and art?
Findings: The organization uses narratives to address important and sometimes conflicting goals. Personal narratives from artists with disabilities that are available through the website tell a range of stories about art and disability. The organization draws on these heterogeneous stories to position itself as an ally. By including such personal narratives on its website, the organization challenges the cultural narrative that the art produced by disabled artists is merely therapeutic.
Implication/Value: Much of the work on allyship focuses on how individuals can be allies. Examining ways in which organizations frame themselves as allies can help us to more fully understand allyship on multiple levels of social life.
Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) support community living for three million disabled people in the United States. As a state-federal partnership, these…
Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) support community living for three million disabled people in the United States. As a state-federal partnership, these programs are highly variable across states. Because eligibility determination and services differ from state to state, this Medicaid structure becomes a barrier for those HCBS users whose desired futures include cross-state moves.
I examine narratives of citizenship and personhood for Medicaid HCBS users circulating within policy arenas and explore tensions between these and the stories Medicaid HCBS users tell of their own lives. Specifically, I explore the degree to which narratives about Medicaid HCBS users include an affirmation of the right to cross-state movement. My analysis includes data from public statements from policy makers, legislative texts, organizational framings of Medicaid policy, and 18 semi-structured interviews with Medicaid PCA users who desired or pursued cross-state moves.
I conclude that institutional narratives of Medicaid HCBS users are an inadequate representation of the stories told by those who rely on this program and, in consequence, programs stemming from policy fail to offer services that would allow service recipients to pursue their objectives.
Medicaid HCBS policy is part of a broader story of disability rights progress over the last four decades, making its role as an obstacle to cross-state movement a bit of a paradox. This paradox points to the value of narrative analysis in calling attention to invisible contradictions and the need for institutional and organizational change.