‘wide open’ expectations
I just read the 16 May 2012 ‘On being of service’ blog posting by Betsy Neuville entitled ‘wide open.’ It is a thoughtful reflection on the power of our (personal as well as societal) expectations of other people to then open the door to the good things of life–or to shut that door (cf. Wolfensberger, A brief introduction to SRV, 1998, pp. 105-106). Our mindsets and expectations about another person (e.g., Matthew with Down’s syndrome) or about a whole group of people (e.g., prisoners and ex-convicts) shape how we perceive and thus treat others.
As Betsy’s blog posting and some of the replies to it make clear, our expectations can be shaped by our own experiences, our physical and social environments (including the predominant values of our culture), and what we actually observe and experience (Wolfensberger, 1998, p. 35).
Much of Social Role Valorization theory addresses this reality of expectations: if we want to help societally devalued people to have greater access to the ‘good things of life,’ then one relevant and potent strategy is to work to shape the mindsets which others hold about devalued people, so that the mindsets are as positive as possible, presume the capacity for growth and development, and are consistent with the possibility that devalued people can fill socially valued roles (Wolfensberger, 1998, p. 105).
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: good things of life, high expectations, mind-sets, role expectations, Social Role Valorization, Wolf Wolfensberger