“Fatal” Diagnosis and Rites of Passage: Self-Representation of Disabled People and Their Statuses in Contemporary Russia
[“Rokovoi” diagnoz kak nachalo obriada perekhoda: status invalida i otnoshenie k nemu v sovremennoi Rossii]
Type of publication: Research Article
disability, disability studies, Russia, medical diagnosis, autobiographies, rites of passage
Drawn on in-depth interviews with disabled people, their autobiographical texts and life stories, the article examines and discusses the attitudes towards medical diagnoses that determine the status of disability in present-day Russia. I argue that disability is a construct built by “normal” people and that it exists in a certain historical and cultural context, depending also on medical problems and situations of a particular person. Statuses of disabled people in contemporary Russian society are extremely low, and the transition to such a status can be seen as a reversed rite of passage signifying a downward move from the “normal” social state to a much lower one. Thus, medical diagnosis which determines the status of disabled people as a stigmatized group, such as it is in today’s Russia, may be considered the starting phase of this rite.
Funding InformationThis research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Foundation for Basic Research, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100002261 [20-09-00063 А]
Nosenko-Stein, E.E. 2020. “Fatal” Diagnosis and Rites of Passage: Self-Representation of Disabled People and Their Statuses in Contemporary Russia [“Rokovoi” diagnoz kak nachalo obriada perekhoda: status invalida i otnoshenie k nemu v sovremennoi Rossii]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 5: 149–161. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150012355-0
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