ERIC Number: EJ934734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
Navajo and Autism: The Beauty of Harmony
Kapp, Steven K.
Disability & Society, v26 n5 p583-595 2011
With so much unknown about autism, the disability tends to reflect the sociocultural preconceptions people project onto it. The predominant narrative in Western society of autism as a "disease" within the medical model contrasts with the more positive, empowering view of autism as a "difference" in the social model and neurodiversity movement. Society has also discriminated against and disabled the Navajo Native Americans since the arrival of Euro-Americans. Navajos resiliently balance between exercising self-determination within their own nation and adapting to outside society, with a culture that remains remarkably intact. The Navajo thus presented exceptional opportunity for cross-cultural analysis. It suggested that the traditional Navajo social constructs of harmony and beauty, as encompassed by a wellness philosophy called Hozho, better serve the needs of Autistic people than the Western notion of "progress" through science and technology.
Descriptors: Navajo (Nation), Autism, American Indian Culture, Social Attitudes, Social Discrimination, Adjustment (to Environment), Cross Cultural Studies, Aesthetics, Wellness, Self Determination, Attitudes toward Disabilities, Cultural Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A