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Thread: Person first language V Identity first language

  1. #1

    Question Person first language V Identity first language


    Person first language V Identity first language

    Description of person first language

    Person-first language puts the word “person” before the disability-related word in a phrase. People who use person-first language believe that this emphasizes that disabled people are people rather than a label.

    Description of Identity first language

    Identity-first language places the disability-related word first in a phrase. People who prefer identity-first language for themselves often argue that their disability is an important part of who they are, or that they wouldn’t be the same person without their disability. For some people, identity-first language is about a shared community, culture, and identity. Identity-first language is also about thinking about disability as a type of diversity instead of something to be ashamed of.

    I am just curious on which way you like your eggs in the morning? I like mine with a kiss.
    Sorry ADHD just kicked in for moment.

    Personally I prefer people first, as I am more than the sum of my parts if people just look at all my Labels then they are going to miss who I am really.

    But Some people like Identity-first language.

    Which one do you prefer.

    Sisi



    Last edited by siysiy; 07-Apr-2016 at 05:34.

  2. #2

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    I saw the exchange in the other thread and I found it interesting but I'm not sure it results in anything I can really use in terms of hard and fast rules. My guess is that there's enough variation among people that any given descriptor style used can and will be considered incorrect or at least less than optimal by a fair number and offensive by a smaller number.

    My standard approach is to just blunder along as best I (often with what's generally accepted but with some caveats) can and adapt when I'm informed by individuals how they wish to be referred to. None of us are mindreaders, so no one is going to know what I'd prefer from the range of reasonable options until I care enough to tell them. Unless they persist in describing me incorrectly, it seems like too much work to get upset or offended.

  3. #3

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    Interesting topic. To be honest, I haven't thought much about this with respect to disabilities, though perhaps I should. Mostly I find myself thinking about this when it comes to race. And in those cases, it's not so much about how I structure my sentences as it is about whether a person's race is at all relevant to the point I'm trying to make. Do I mention it at all, or do I leave it out? My last employer had nearly 100,000 employees, many of whom were from China, Japan, India--all over the world. I'd come home to my family at the end of the day, and as I explained the events of my work day, I'd challenge myself not to identify my coworkers first by their race. Sometimes that can be hard! Of course, it gets easier the more we know a person. Then they have a name and other personality traits that we can point to as opposed to superficial stuff like their skin color and accent. Without that familiarity, though, I'll still catch myself gravitating toward references like "a black guy", or "an Asian woman", or other things that, if I pause to consider my ultimate point, aren't entirely relevant and can be made race-neutral.

    I'm working on it.

  4. #4

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    As somebody who has worked both in the field of diasability and social justice one would think I care deeply about issues like this, but I don't. I think there is far too much quibbeling over trivial semantic issues and that it destracts from more pressing matters. For me, "an ADD person", and "a person with ADD", are equivalent. It doesn't matter one way or the other as they are both saying the same thing.

    I think that the focus on linguistic minutia in social justice has a great deal to do with the roots of the movement in liberal arts faculties. There are a lot of English majors involved in forming the cannon of socially progressive thought. As a result I believe that too much emphasis is placed on words.
    Last edited by CuddleFish; 12-Apr-2016 at 10:27.

  5. #5

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    I personally dislike using labels because they come with preconceived definitions. Granted, like Cottentail, I sometimes succumb to them because they enable a description in just using one word rather than several paragraphs of narrative. But because we're complex, using a label leaves out a person's uniqueness and individuality. I'm bad at remembering the names of people I've met once or twice, but thinking of people by their names seems a lot nicer than a description. That said, how often have we described others and even ourselves by what we do for employment. How many times on the introduction site have I described myself to a new member as a professional musician. It still leaves a lot for interpretation.

    I hope I understood the thread question and didn't make a fool of myself.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I personally dislike using labels because they come with preconceived definitions. Granted, like Cottentail, I sometimes succumb to them because they enable a description in just using one word rather than several paragraphs of narrative. But because we're complex, using a label leaves out a person's uniqueness and individuality. I'm bad at remembering the names of people I've met once or twice, but thinking of people by their names seems a lot nicer than a description. That said, how often have we described others and even ourselves by what we do for employment. How many times on the introduction site have I described myself to a new member as a professional musician. It still leaves a lot for interpretation.

    I hope I understood the thread question and didn't make a fool of myself.
    I myself dislike labels describing my degree of disability with respect to autism and cerebral palsy.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by caitianx View Post
    I myself dislike labels describing my degree of disability with respect to autism and cerebral palsy.
    Yes. Having read the many things you've said on this site, I know there's so much more to you. I wouldn't have even guessed that you have autism. You express yourself well on ADISC and you're very affable and social here.

  8. #8

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    A great many autistic people express themselves quite well. Even people who are averbal and "low-functioning" might express themselves fluently though text, music, or any number of other mediums.

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