Hostile, Benevolent, and Ambivalent Ableism: Contemporary Manifestations. Paper by Michelle R. Nario‐Redmond, Alexia A. Kemerling and Arielle Silverman

‘While disabled people have a long history of being quarantined and shunned from communal events, avoidance behaviors are not universally distributed across cultures.’

First part of abstract:

Disabled people experience ableism in many forms from the seemingly benevolent to the blatantly hostile, and more ambivalent or mixed forms (e.g., paternalistic/condescending and jealous/envy).

Rooted in historic and contemporary frameworks, this study explores the experiences of an international sample of disabled people (N = 185) using six open‐ended questions to assess some of the manifestations of ableism documented in the literature.

We found that experiences with paternalistic forms of ableism were among the most pervasive followed by inspirational, hostile, envious, and dehumanizing forms while fears of becoming disabled or “catching” disability were less commonly reported.

Furthermore, some forms of ableism (e.g., infantilization, unwanted help, and invasions of privacy) were more common among those with visible impairments whereas invalidation and accusations of fraud were more common among those with less apparent conditions.

Implications for policies related to hate crimes, health care, and media representations are discussed along with directions for future research.

“If I tell someone I don't like their pitying behavior or point out that their kind intent had a harmful impact, they become hostile, usually accusing me of being ungrateful or disabled people like me as “too sensitive” (Person with multiple disabilities, 2015).”

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