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Adjustment to blindness: A study of the psycho-social effects of visual loss in adulthood.

Newell, Rosemarie. (1983) Adjustment to blindness: A study of the psycho-social effects of visual loss in adulthood. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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The aim of the present study was to examine the psycho-social effects of blindness on a sample of individuals who were registered as blind in adulthood. In particular, it considered what influence societal reaction had on those studied. Four main areas of the blindness career were studied: 1) the early period of blindness; 2) the rehabilitation process and agency involvement; 3) occupational mobility and employment outcomes; and 4) what it is like to be a blind person. A symbolic interactionist approach was taken, using the concepts of career, status passage, social role, self-concept, deviance and stigma. The study drew largely on the work of Scott (1969) who proposed that there is a specific "blind role", which public attitudes and blindness agencies impose on those who lose their sight. The sample consisted of males and females between the ages 22-60, living in Southern England, and who had differing degrees of sightedness. The method employed was that of in-depth interviewing. In addition, various rehabilitation and employment personnel were interviewed. The findings indicate that the majority of respondents did not permanently adopt the blind role, that is, become helpless and dependent, but held a variety of roles. The work role was highly valued; those who were employed put little emphasis on the effects of blindness, whereas those who were involuntarily unemployed generally regarded their condition as disabling. It was evident that the direct influence of agencies was not as great as Scott found in the United States. The major problem people face is in dealing with the public stereotypes held about them, and being assigned deviant status. Although it was felt by most of those studied that the physical implications of blindness could be surmounted, societal reaction was seen as being responsible for many of the difficulties they encountered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Newell, Rosemarie.
Date : 1983
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:17
Last Modified : 20 Jun 2018 11:23

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