Poster Title

Relentless: The Social Identity of Chronic Illness and Disability

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Sociology

Minor

Psychology, Social Welfare

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

KY House District #

81

KY Senate District #

34

Department

Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Abstract

Relentless is a creative work of essays focusing on the social identity of chronic illness and disability. People construct a social identity, or a sense of who they are, based on their membership to groups. Historically, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities are perceived through a medical lens as people that need to be “fixed.” This group has experienced harmful discrimination and persecution for centuries. Many have been ostracized and isolated from the rest of the social world. Relentless seeks to showcase the social issues surrounding chronic illness and disability in order to give a voice to a group of people who have been repeatedly pushed aside and silenced. Research will focus on topics such as the social model of disability, invisible illness, navigating the medical world, accessibility, stereotypes and misconceptions about chronic illness and disability, issues with person-first language, including disability rights in activism, levels of privilege within chronic illness and disability, body positivity, and finding hope and acceptance. Essays will combine facts, statistics, and personal narrative in order to provide a well-rounded perspective on what it means to have a chronic illness or disability in today’s society. Relentless will exemplify the magnitude of the barriers people with chronic illnesses and disabilities experience while also emphasizing the incredible resilience and strength of this population.

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Relentless: The Social Identity of Chronic Illness and Disability

Relentless is a creative work of essays focusing on the social identity of chronic illness and disability. People construct a social identity, or a sense of who they are, based on their membership to groups. Historically, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities are perceived through a medical lens as people that need to be “fixed.” This group has experienced harmful discrimination and persecution for centuries. Many have been ostracized and isolated from the rest of the social world. Relentless seeks to showcase the social issues surrounding chronic illness and disability in order to give a voice to a group of people who have been repeatedly pushed aside and silenced. Research will focus on topics such as the social model of disability, invisible illness, navigating the medical world, accessibility, stereotypes and misconceptions about chronic illness and disability, issues with person-first language, including disability rights in activism, levels of privilege within chronic illness and disability, body positivity, and finding hope and acceptance. Essays will combine facts, statistics, and personal narrative in order to provide a well-rounded perspective on what it means to have a chronic illness or disability in today’s society. Relentless will exemplify the magnitude of the barriers people with chronic illnesses and disabilities experience while also emphasizing the incredible resilience and strength of this population.