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Pity and pragmatism: understandings of disability in northeast Thailand

Naemiratch, Bhensri and Manderson, Lenore (2009) Pity and pragmatism: understandings of disability in northeast Thailand. Disability and Society, 24 (4). pp. 475-488. ISSN 0968-7599 (print), 1360-0508 (online)

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Cultural models of illness causation and treatment inform community understandings of and responses to disability. Data collected as part of a multi‐country study, conducted in 2002–2007, illustrate how villagers from northeastern Thailand conceptualise disability (pikarn). Local understandings of causality are shaped by Buddhist beliefs in accumulated demerit, and this significantly influences attitudes towards illness, adversity and bodily states. Buddhist notions of love and compassion (metta and kurana) inform appropriate responses to people living with disabilities, while local distinctions of ability and disability inform expressions of sympathy and/or pity (songsarn), with implications for the social participation of people with a disability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID18995, Thailand, causality, cultural values, disability, sympathy
Subjects: Current > FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 02 May 2012 02:39
Last Modified: 02 May 2012 02:39
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Citations in Scopus: 14 - View on Scopus

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