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African Journal of Disability (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2226-7220
Print version ISSN 2223-9170

Abstract

ISAACS, Dane H.. 'Satan is holding your tongue back': Stuttering as moral failure. Afr. j. disabil. (Online) [online]. 2021, vol.10, pp.1-7. ISSN 2226-7220.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v10i0.773.

BACKGROUND: The last decade has seen researchers and speech-language pathologists employ and advocate for a disability studies approach in the study of the lived experiences of people who stutter and in the design of interventions and treatment approaches for such individuals. Joshua St. Pierre, one of the few theorists to explore stuttering as a disability, mentions as a key issue the liminal nature of people who stutter when describing their disabling experiences. OBJECTIVES: This article aimed to build on the work of St. Pierre, exploring the liminal nature of people who stutter. METHOD: Drawing on my personal experiences of stuttering as a coloured South African man, I illuminated the liminal nature of stuttering. RESULTS: This analytic autoethnography demonstrates how the interpretation of stuttering as the outcome of moral failure leads to the discrimination and oppression of people who stutter by able-bodied individuals as well as individuals who stutter. CONCLUSION: As long as stuttering is interpreted as the outcome of moral failure, the stigma and oppression, as well as the disablism experience by people who stutter, will continue to be concealed and left unaddressed.

Keywords : autoethnography; disability; discrimination; oppression; liminal nature; moral failure; South Africa; stuttering.

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