Disability and Rehabilitation: An Ethnography of the "Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed" in Bangladesh

Malek, Farjina

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In my research, I engaged in an ethnographic study at the Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP), Bangladesh, where the daily life of the disabled people and their experiences of their situation was my focus. I evaluated their physical and mental situation by the language used by the patients, their relatives and the therapists and staff at CRP. Here language refers to the representation of the physical condition (what are the synonyms and antonyms they use to indicate disabilities), and the way that patients, relatives and doctors relate disability both formally and informally. My research question is "What is the cultural shape of disability at half way hostel of CRP?". CRP is a huge area to cover, I therefore have chosen one part of CRP and that is the "Half Way Hostel". This is the patients' pre-discharged hostel. As a data collection technique, I used participant observation. I got involved myself in their daily activities. I took part as well as observed their daily life. In addition, I took interviews and daily notes. The thesis is divided in five chapters: the first chapter's aims were to introduce the argument, research question and then discuss different relevant literature. My argument is each and every culture has its way of understanding disability. One should not understand disability from the universal point of view. From this argument, my research question is, "What is the cultural shape of disability at half way hostel of CRP, Bangladesh?". In the same chapter, I have also discussed how disability has been discussed at different times and in different literature. The second chapter is based on the description of the field and the data collection methods. In this chapter, I described my field; mainly the physical infrastructure of CRP, I discussed the method I have used as well as the limitations and advantages of those methods and I discussed my field experiences. As a volunteer, I got easy access to my field, which was a plus point. On the other hand, for the same reason, my informants always kept a distance with me. It was a challenge for me to overcome the distance. The third chapter has focused on different events in CRP. These events have taken place at half way hostel in different time where the fun, frustration, every day conflict, love, joy of disabled people and their relatives is pictured. This chapter also focused some patient's case study, which is helpful to understand the events as well as the patient's background. My forth chapter is the description of deferent points, where the holistic scenario of disability in half way hostel has been described. Apart of the patients, the other actors of half way hostel was more focused in this chapter. These other actors are the relatives of the patients, the discussants of the half way hostel, the therapists, the care giver of half way hostel and the other facilitators of the half way hostel. The concluding chapter of this study is based on the discussion of the study. The main findings of the study is the conflicts of CRP's advocacy and patients' own agency, the fun and frustration of the patients, the daily reaction of the relatives of the patients and also patients' everyday language. In the study, I have shown a culture of the Half Way Hostel, where disability plays a very influential role.

Document type: Master thesis
Date: 2010
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 14 October 2010
Faculties / Institutes: Universitäten / Institute > South Asia Institute / Department of Ethnology
DDC-classification: Medical sciences Medicine
Controlled Subjects: Bangladesch, Körperbehinderter, Rehabilitation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bangladesch , Körperbehinderter , Rehabilitation, Bangladesh , Paralyzed Persons , Rehabilitation
Subject (classification): Medicine
Countries/Regions: Bangladesh
Series: Themen > Health and Society in South Asia Series
Volume: 8