SRV intro presentation (1) (no graphic) edit

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A tentative definition of
Social Devaluation
Module: Social Devaluation and
its consequences
Devaluation is not the same
as:

Being rude, impolite, discourteous

Disliking a person (we may devalue
people whom we dislike, but we may
devalue people whom we do not know)

Making demands upon a person
Social Devaluation Definition





The attribution of low, even no value
To a person or group
By another person or group
On the basis of some characteristic
(usually a difference)
Perceived as negatively significant by
the devaluer
How do people become devalued in the
eyes of others?
Every society has certain qualities and
conditions which are regarded as
positive or negative
Some conditions are highly regarded in
some cultures and not in others
The judgment depends on the particular
society
Western Society values…..
Wealth,
material possessions
Health,
beauty, fitness
Youth,
newness
Intelligence,
Productivity
competence and independence
and achievement
Individualism
Pleasure
and choice
Typical Life Experiences of
People who are Devalued




Identity reduced to that of an
impairment
Likely to have low social status/standing
Likely to be rejected
Likely to be cast into negative social
roles
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Sub-human; Object, Animal, Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
Object of Pity
Burden: Of Charity, On others
Child: Eternally, Once again
Client (forever, for everything)
Sick
Garbage, Discard
Dead, Dying, Better off dead
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
Sub-human; Object
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
Sub-human; Object, Animal
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
Sub-human; Object, Animal,
Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
Sub-human; Object, Animal,
Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
4.
Sub-human; Object, Animal,
Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
Object of Pity
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Sub-human; Object, Animal,
Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
Object of Pity
Burden: Of Charity, On Others
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Sub-human; Object, Animal,
Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
Object of Pity
Burden: Of Charity, On Others
Child: Eternally, Once again
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Sub-human; Object, Animal,
Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
Object of Pity
Burden: Of Charity, On Others
Child: Eternally, Once again
Client (forever, for everything)
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Sub-human; Object, Animal, Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
Object of Pity
Burden: Of Charity, On Others
Child: Eternally, Once again
Client (forever, for everything)
Sick
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Sub-human; Object, Animal, Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
Object of Pity
Burden: Of Charity, On Others
Child: Eternally, Once again
Client (forever, for everything)
Sick
Garbage, Discard
The Major Negative Roles into which
Devalued People Are Placed
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Sub-human; Object, Animal, Vegetable
Menace, Object of Fear
Object of Ridicule
Object of Pity
Burden: Of Charity, On Others
Child: Eternally, Once again
Client (forever, for everything)
Sick
Garbage, Discard
Dead, Dying, Better off dead
Typical life experiences contd.




Marked or branded as different or
deviant
Suspected of having other deviancies,
deficits, impairments
Separated from others.
Being segregated, kept out, excluded
Forms of physical
segregation/congregation





Physical exclusion (architectural barriers)
Physical segregation (separate facilities)
Physical confinement (prisons, nursing
homes)
Physical ejection (banishment/exile)
Physical destruction (abortion, euthanasia)
Forms of social
segregation/congregation


Avoiding interaction with the person
(e.g. ignoring the presence of someone
or pretending they are not present)
Using language, images or actions
which degrade the age or status of a
person (e.g. ‘talking down’ to a person,
treating him/her as a child
Typical life experiences contd.



Loss of control of one’s own life and
reputation
Disruption of relationships (friends,
family, community)
Loss of natural, freely given
relationships
Common forms of control of
people who are devalued




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Being kept dependent upon individual
service providers or agencies
Having to deal with, and report to
agencies, offices, authorities
Having to fill out forms, often without
being able to cope with them
Being ‘labelled’
Being moved about
Common forms of control
contd.




Being forced to live in ghettoes or other
‘special’ places
Being otherwise confined, as in
institutions, prisons
Having one’s associations controlled
Being disenfranchised (e.g. losing rights
of typical citizens)
Typical Life Experiences
contd.




Being denaturalized (not being seen as
as citizen at all)
Not seen or treated as an individual
Poverty of material things and typical
life experiences
Life wasted
Financial poverty



Most people who are devalued are poor
Wealth can be a defence against
becoming devalued
The consequences of being poor add
significantly to other devaluing
conditions such as intellectual disability
or mental illness
Poverty of life experiences



People who are valued gather and integrate
their life experiences - it is the basis of our
development and growth
People who are devalued, and who do not
have typical life experiences are much more
likely to have their lives wasted
Low (non-developmental) expectations are a
critical element of life-wasting
Expressions of Brutalisation


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Denial/withholding of treatment
Excessive/abusive use of drugs
Dumping people into community without
support
Social marginalisation
Outright violence by families, workers,
wider society
Expressions of Brutalisation



Outright killing
Encouraging or supporting suicide or
euthanasia
These forms or expressions can be
considered as a continuum which has
increasingly serious consequences
An Internalised Sense of
Worthlessness

Awareness of being a source of anguish to others

Personal insecurity

Dislike of self

Hatred & persecution of others, even ones
supporters

Seeing self as a failure
Personal insecurity can take
many forms:






Testing genuineness of new
relationships
Inventing relationships
Searching for the abandoner
Seeking/demanding physical contact
Withdrawing from human contact
Turning hurt into rage or anger
Impact of social devaluation
and wounding



It impacts at many levels (individual,
family, service system, society)
It is not good for anyone at any level but
particularly hurtful and harmful to people
who are devalued and their families
We all experience some ‘wounds’ in our
lives but there are differences
Heightened Vulnerability



We all experience vulnerability, but there are
crucial differences between people who are
valued, and those who are devalued
Devalued people live in a state of ‘heightened
vulnerability’
Negative life experiences which inflict people
with devalued status can have a much more
devastating impact
Strategies to address
devaluation & wounding



We need to be conscious of our ability, both
individually and collectively, to hurt or harm
people who are devalued
We need to be aware of the need to
compensate for ‘heightened vulnerability’ of
people who are devalued
We need to be aware of the power of valued
roles
Roles impact powerfully upon:

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Image in the eyes of others (status &
reputation)
Image in own eyes (self-image)
Acceptance & belonging
Associations & relationships
Autonomy & freedom
Roles impact powerfully upon:




Personal growth & development
Opportunities to make contributions to
others & society
Material side of life
Lifestyle
Strategies to address
devaluation & wounding




The importance of a developmental
approach
The power of imitation
The power of positive imagery (it is not
just what we do, but how it looks)
Helping people who are devalued to
become, or remain, community
members
Assumptions we need to
consider:

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That all humans have equal value &
worth
People who are devalued have been
given a raw deal; they deserve better
All humans have the potential, and are
capable of growth & development
Devalued people are more vulnerable
than typical community members
Assumptions contd.

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Devaluation is a societal problem and
needs to be addressed at a number of
levels:
Individual
Family
Service system
Society
Assumptions about what
should be:



Every person should be valued & seen
as a human being
All human beings should be offered
opportunities to have a ‘good life’
regardless of personal conditions
Concerted efforts are required to ensure
that devalued people have opportunities
to have a good life
Potential roles for workers:



Connector/reconnector to family,
community, society
Interpreter of the person with a disability
to community, and the community to the
person
Facilitator of positive roles &
interactions with members of the
community
Potential roles for workers:




Role model for the person and the community
Advocate for the inclusion of the person in all
aspects of community life (social & physical)
Protector against any actions which may
exclude or segregate
Protector (as much as possible) against
hurtful or harmful aspects of living in the
community
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