‘Bent, not broken’ article in NY Times

This NY Times article about a teacher has some good potential as a teaching exercise: in a workshop, staff meeting or university classroom. It can be used to raise questions and issues relevant to Social Role Valorization, such as:

• What language is used to refer to the person who is the main subject of the article? What roles does such language communicate?

• What are Ms. Manderson’s primary social roles (valued and devalued), in terms of amount of time spent in the role, visibility, etc.? Which of her social roles are more competency-based and which are more attributed? What good things of life have her valued roles opened the door to?

• What expectations do others have for Ms. Manderson? How might these expectations have been shaped? How might any positive expectations be reinforced? How might any low expectations be countered?

• How would you describe her heightened vulnerability, both now as well as projecting into the future?

• Consider the involvement of paid staff (e.g., home health aide) in her life: what are the potential benefits and limitations vis-a-vis acquiring and maintaining valued social roles (such as wife and teacher)?

• Reflect on the importance of personal appearance to having valued social roles (and how does personal appearance connect with cultural expectations, e.g., how about her earrings? how about her nose ring?).

• What challenges and questions does this article raise for you, e.g., a) in your own service involvement, b) as a parent, c) as a typical citizen?

• What can you learn from this example that can be helpful in terms of your own service role and involvement?

Posted on October 4, 2010 at 6:44 am by MTumeinski · Permalink
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