Reflections of social and cultural understandings of the state and non-governmental organizations about disability: dynamics of social exclusion

Girişmen, Gizem
This thesis aims to explore the role of charity and charity based system of social policy in relation to social exclusion and disability as well as the structural and cultural factors behind charitable efforts targeting disabled people in Turkey. Within the scope of this study, social exclusion concept is accepted as a multidimensional process rather than an endpoint. Furthermore, it is argued that disabled people experience hybrid forms of exclusionary processes rooted in socioeconomic and cultural representational inequalities and charity is a critical source in worsening these processes. To understand the role and effect of charity in the dynamic relationship between social exclusion and disability, a qualitative research involving in-depth interviews with people with orthopedic disabilities and the representatives of disability related NGOs is employed. However, this study is not representative of the entire disability experience that involves heterogeneity and therefore only represents the research group. This study concludes that the relationship between charity, disability and socio-cultural exclusion in the Turkish context involves dynamics processes with interacting complex set of factors such as individualization of oppression, charity based system of social policy, legislative efforts involving discriminative treatment, medicalization of disability, the role and priorities of NGOs, cultural representation of disability, agency and the effect of religion. Moreover, it is observed that not only NGOs’ but also the state’s understanding about disability is dominantly shaped through charity. One of the most important conclusions of this study is that charity activities affect socio-cultural exclusionary processes experienced by disabled people through promoting strong dualism pointing two mutually exclusive groups of people as disabled and non-disabled. 


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Citation Formats
G. Girişmen, “Reflections of social and cultural understandings of the state and non-governmental organizations about disability: dynamics of social exclusion,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.