'Rebuilding a Shattered Life and a Broken Body': Social Work and Disability Discourses in Israel's First Decades

Roni Holler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Building on the renewed interest in social work historiography, this article examines how disability was perceived and constructed by the social work profession in the first decades of the State of Israel. A discourse analysis of articles published in the country's main social work journal (Welfare, 1957-77) underscores the importance of individualised discourses focused on the disabled person, her body, tragedy and, most importantly, her personality. This emphasis leads to an examination of the personality characteristics of disabled persons as seen or attributed by practitioners. The analysis then examines the social discourses arising from these articles and that which is sorely missing in them - the voice of the disabled. Finally, the study discusses some of the factors behind these professional discourses and conceptualises them within the theoretical framework of othering. Specifically, it concludes that these discourses turned welfare into a cultural location of disability, where disabled people were constructed and (re)shaped as the Other.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)448-465
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s). All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Israel
  • analysis analysis
  • historical perspective
  • social model of disability

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