Naming : reflecting and constructing disability and public health policy and practice

William SHERLAW

KEYWORDS : critical discourse analysis, disability, public health, terminology, labelling theory

ABSTRACT : Names and terms within the fields of disability and public health, both reflect and construct practice and policy. They are an important part of discourse: ‘language as a form of social practice’. (Fairclough, 2001) Discourse goes beyond the transmission of information, it also allows us to do and be. (Gee, 2014). Names not only inform, but also categorise, confer identities, and distribute social goods. They conjure up relations and relate histories. In short, they do political work. Focusing on names in relation to disability and public health provides a useful starting point for analysing policy and practice. Changing names does not transform reality in any simplistic way, but may be the harbinger of social change.

To read the abstract of the article in French, click on the link below :
Naming : reflecting and constructing disability and public health policy and practice

William SHERLAW

EHESP, LABERS
Laboratoire d’études et de recherches en sociologie
(EA 3149) F-35000 Rennes, France
William.Sherlaw[at]ehesp.fr

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