عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: The limited interaction between society and people with visual impairments has led to the formation of attitudinal stereotypes and the social construction of blindness, which, from the point of view of blind people, is largely different from reality. This article attempts to achieve a proper understanding of the social constructions and common stereotypes about these people by addressing the issue of social pressures faced by blind people. So that the people with visual impairment can provide their abilities and skills to the society and other people. In this article, the phenomenon of blindness was analyzed from the perspective of visually impaired people and the role of social discourses and cultural assumptions in understanding and interpreting this phenomenon was examined.
Method: For this purpose, in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 visually impaired people selected through purposive and theoretical sampling. The data obtained were adapted using the three-step coding method and examined using the phenomenological analysis method.
Findings: From the interviews with the blind people, 8 main axes were identified, which include a process from disability acceptance to disability reacceptance. The obtained data were adjusted using the three-step coding method and examined using the phenomenological analysis method. These axes are “normalization of disability,” “imposition of disability,” “recovery of health,” “guilt,” “imposed suffering,” “stereotypical judgments,” “social anonymity,” and “redefinition of disability.”
The results show that the understanding and interpretation of the phenomenon of blindness from the point of view of most blind people is different from what is imagined by the general public, and that the social and cultural discourses about the phenomenon of blindness that are widespread in the general population create unfavorable feelings in blind people in many situations and cause them additional suffering.
Conclusion: blind people can resist not being recognized by society in two different ways: “acceptance of the limiting structures and the social construction of disability” and “struggle for recognition”. Accordingly, the cause of blind people’s limitations does not lie exclusively in their physical impairment, but to a large extent in the social construction, ideas, and cultural assumptions that have formed around blindness. Such a social construction of the phenomenon of blindness is one of the factors that can lead to blind people not being recognized by society and to the phenomenon of social anonymity and loss of self-confidence among them. What can free blind people from this situation is the phenomenon of confidence, which can be found first in the acceptance and accompaniment of the family and then in the insight and appropriate behavior of society. This issue creates the basis for blind people to develop self-confidence and the ability to express their individual needs without fear of rejection. If this basic component of relating to oneself (self-confidence) is not achieved, the blind person will accept the limiting structures of disability that can create a kind of learned helplessness or secondary disability.