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Cadernos de Pesquisa

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MAGALHAES, Rita de Cássia Barbosa Paiva  and  CARDOSO, Ana Paula Lima Barbosa. The handicapped person and identity crisis in the present day. Cad. Pesqui. [online]. 2010, vol.40, n.139, pp.45-61. ISSN 0100-1574.

The objective of this essay is to discuss identity crisis and its repercussions as far as concerns socially stigmatized identities, above all those of handicapped people. This crisis is taking place in the midst of profound social and economic changes in the context of post-modernity. Identity, understood as being an historical and cultural construct, is influenced by relationships of power and is not an immutable and arduously constructed "entity" but something fluid and metamorphic. By examining the relationships between difference and identity, we maintain that such concepts overlap within the context of this crisis. The discussion about identity and difference refers us to the work of Erving Goffman and the concept of stigma in the perspective of the understanding of the manipulation of the identity of those individuals who differ from what is socially expected. The identity of the handicapped person tends, because of the stigma, to undergo processes of social control, in which important opportunities for metamorphosis are denied. Discussing identity seems to be, therefore, the connecting thread for understanding social and scholastic inclusion of the handicapped person


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