Disability in Medieval Europe: Thinking about Physical by Irina Metzler

By Irina Metzler

This extraordinary quantity offers an intensive exam of all elements of actual impairment and incapacity in medieval Europe. studying a favored period that's of serious curiosity to many historians and researchers, Irene Metzler offers a theoretical framework of incapacity and explores key parts similar to: medieval theoretical options theology and average philosophy notions of the actual physique scientific thought and perform. Bringing into play the fashionable day implications of medieval proposal at the factor, this can be a interesting and informative addition to the learn reviews of medieval historical past, background of drugs and incapacity experiences students the English-speaking international over.

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Extra resources for Disability in Medieval Europe: Thinking about Physical Impairment in the High Middle Ages, c.1100-c.1400 (Routledge Studies in Medieval Religion and Culture)

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140 In other words, in a society which values manual work very highly, inability to perform such work would be regarded as more of a threat to the established value-system than in a society which, say, values social skills higher than productivity in manual work; a hypothetical extrovert but one-handed person would therefore be valued quite differently in these two societies. Anthropology has also raised the issue of liminality. Robert Murphy, himself disabled, uses the concept of liminality to explain the relative position of impaired peoples in all societies.

According to this model, theoretically a disability is therefore possible without the prior existence of an objective impairment but in the process of evaluation by a society a disability is ascribed. A flow chart, devised by Neubert and Cloerkes, demonstrates the range of possible reactions to impairment (see Figure 1). The emphasis on no no yes Social death Help Non-role Isolation no Retention of group affiliation? yes no Expulsion no Survival chance? Passive killing Refusal to help? no Help given?

This is the social psychology view, which sees disability as an ideological construct arising out of the negative attitudes of society. The material conditions of life, for example mobility, space, work, are brushed aside in favour of psychological and discursive structures. 79 By this he meant that not all stigmatic manifestations are visible to ‘normals’ all the time, but that some phenomena are more apparent than others to different groups of people; one could think of the different ways, for example, in which a medical professional and a lay person perceive a stigmatised person such as a wheelchair user.

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