The realpolitik of ableism
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The Realpolitik of Ableism. Dr. Gregor Wolbring University of Calgary Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies GN7 Terasem Talk in Second Life, July 20, 2011 [email protected] Agenda. To introduce Ableism as a theoretical framework and analytical lens

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The realpolitik of ableism

The Realpolitik of Ableism

Dr. Gregor Wolbring

University of Calgary

Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies

GN7 Terasem Talk in Second Life, July 20, 2011

[email protected]


Agenda

Agenda

  • To introduce Ableism as a theoretical framework and analytical lens

  • To introduce ableism studies

  • To highlight linkage between Ableism and S&T advances


Ableism and s t

Ableism and S&T

  • Ableism influences S&T visions and advances

  • S&T advances influence ableism

  • Ableism and advances in S&T influence meaning of health, healthcare and rehabilitation, direction of health research and policy and scope of health care and rehabilitation.

  • Ableism and advances in S&T influence the meaning of good life

  • Ableism and advances in S&T influence not only individuals but also social groups, nations and cultures


The realpolitik of ableism

  • Scope of therapeutic?

    -Body linked-

    Ability changing S&T


The realpolitik of ableism

universalsports.nbcsports.com


The realpolitik of ableism

Credits: www.youtube.com/watch?v

http://www.sarcos.com/

YWd2C3XVIk


The realpolitik of ableism

Scope of ‘therapeutic’ bodily assistive devices

68 million wheelchair users

Credits: http://lgcsim.info

Credits: http://www.ted.com/talks/eythor_bender_demos_human_exoskeletons.html


The realpolitik of ableism

Credits: http://www.ted.com/talks


The realpolitik of ableism

Credits: http://www.footy-boots.com


The realpolitik of ableism

Cyborg insects 'born' in DARPA project

Insects with modified body structures and embedded micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) have survived to adulthood in a US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) programme.


The realpolitik of ableism

“[The Audeo]is a featherweight wireless device resting over the vocal cords capable of transmitting neurological information from the brain.”The Audeo from Ambient is also envisioned as a sub-vocal chat device for gaming purposes and phone calls.

Credits: http://biogenesislab.blogspot.com


The realpolitik of ableism

  • Brain machine projects exist in many places such as Australia, the United States, Austria, Japan, Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, China and Taiwan.

  • Some use non-invasive procedures  (Switzerland, Taiwan and Canada) . Others highly invasive procedures (Japan, USA) 

  • A first-generation commercial brain-computer interface (BCI) was released by Emotiv System in December 2008. Other gaming-related Brain Machine Interfaces are described .


The realpolitik of ableism

  • Artificial Wombs: Status: Feasible, Prototypes developed successfully

  • Artificial gut: Status: Developed successfully

  • Artificial Heart: Status: First fully implantable artificial heart developed

  • Artificial blood: Status: Oxygen therapeutics under development

  • Artificial blood vessels: Status: Under trials for use in human beings

  • Artificial bones: Status: Under clinical trials

  • Artificial Skin: Status: Researches on the way for generating a real skin

  • Artificial Retina Status: Developed successfully, waiting for commercialization

  • Artificial limbs: Status: In the trials

  • Artificial body parts from Stem cells: Status: Prototypes developed, further research on the way


The realpolitik of ableism

  • “Ilulissat Statement Synthesizing the Future a vision for the convergence of synthetic biology and nanotechnology”

  • “There is no technical reason the work performed on nonmammalian Cyborg cells should not be applicable to human cells. Nanosynbio moves the cyborgization towards the cellular level and below. The nanoscale cyborgization of cellular components and subcellular structures is the logical extension of the organ and body part cyborgization..”


The realpolitik of ableism

Synthetic Biology is A) the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, andB) the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes.


Longevity immortality technology

Longevity, Immortality Technology

  • cyber-immortality,

  • emancipation from death,

  • involuntary death,

  • immortal-ism,

  • immortal-ist morality

  • digitalization of personhood

  • we do so?


The realpolitik of ableism

What drives S&T advances and governance?


The realpolitik of ableism

Ableism


Ableism as used within disability studies

Ableism as used within disability studies

  • The term ableism evolved from the civil rights movements in the United States and Britain during the 1960s and 1970s

  • It questions the ableism that privileges ‘species -typical abilities’ while labelling ‘sub species-typical abilities’ as deficient, as impaired and undesirable often with the accompanying disablism the often discriminatory, oppressive, and non-supportive “we-other” behaviour

    http://ableism.wordpress.com/

    http://blog.fedcan.ca/2011/06/17/ableism-disability-studies-and-the-academy/


Ableism

Ableism

  • Individuals, households, communities, groups, sectors, regions, countries and cultures cherish and promote certain abilities while viewing others as non-essential (favoritism of abilities).

  • Favoring certain abilities often morphs into ableism where one not only cherishes certain abilities but where one sees certain abilities in oneself or others as essential and labels real or perceived deviation from or lack of these essential abilities as problematic.

  • Ableism leads to an ability based and ability justified understanding of oneself, one’s body and one’s relationship with others of one’s species, other species and one’s environment.

  • Ableism can be positive or negative

CNS-ASU research, education and outreach activities are supported by the National Science Foundation under cooperative agreement #0531194.


Ableism1

Ableism

  • Ableism is one of the most societal entrenched and accepted isms and one of the biggest enabler for other isms

    • Sexism

    • Racism/Ethnicism/

    • Caste-ism

    • Age-ism/Youthism

  • Ableism driven Speciesism

  • Ableism driven Anti-Environmentalism Anthropocentric versus Biocentric; Ecuador first Biocracy

  • Gross domestic product (GDP)-ism

  • Consumerism

  • Productivity-ism

  • Competitiveness-ism

  • Equity-ism

    Wolbring (2010) Nanoscale science and technology and social cohesion for International Journal of Nanotechnology Int. J. Nanotechnol., Vol. 7, Nos. 2/3, 2010 pp 155-173


Ableism influences

Ableism influences

Canadian index of wellbeing

Maslow's hierarchy of needs


The realpolitik of ableism

Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance:

Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science (NBIC)


The realpolitik of ableism

The NBIC report used the term productivity over 60 times and the term efficiency 54 times and the term competitiveness 29 times.

Coenen Schuijff, Smits, Klaassen, Hennen, Rader and Wolbring (2009) Human Enhancement Study for European Parliament; Directorate General for internal policies, Policy Dept. A: Economic and Scientific Policy Science and Technology Options Assessments. This project was carried out by the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Research Centre Karlsruhe, and the Rathenau Institute, as members of the European Technology Assessment Group (ETAG).


The realpolitik of ableism

  • Nature has published the results of their recent survey on cognitive enhancement.

  • 1427 individuals took the survey; 79% felt that healthy people should be allowed to take cognitive enhancers. 

  • When asked whether healthy children under the age of 16 should be restricted from taking these drugs, unsurprisingly, most respondents (86%) said that they should. But one-third of respondents said they would feel pressure to give cognition-enhancing drugs to their children if other children at school were taking them.


The realpolitik of ableism

  • , polls indicate that personal interest in or aversion to using Human enhancement technologies depends on one’s

  • perceived social status, and how Human enhancement would affect his/her competitive advantage.

  • Canton has identified several market pressures leading to rapid development of HE technologies:

  • 1) global competitiveness;

  • 2) brain drain/depopulation economics;

  • 3) national security concerns; and

  • 4) quality of life/consumer life-style demands. (AAAS webpage)

http://www.aaas.org/spp/sfrl/projects/human_enhancement


New form of ableism

New Form of Ableism

  • favouritism of beyond species-typical abilities while labeling ‘species and sub species typical, ‘less able’ people as ‘impaired’ with the accompanying disablism

  • New group: the Techno Poor/Unenhanced impaired and Disabled


The realpolitik of ableism

Emerging models of Health and Rehabilitation


The realpolitik of ableism

  • “medical health” is characterized as the normative species-typical functioningof biological systems whereas disease/ illness is defined as the species-typicalsub-normative functioningof biological systems.

  • Rehabilitation is a treatment or treatments designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness, or disease to as normal a condition as possible.


Beyond the species typical model of health

  • Health in this model is the concept of having obtained maximum (at any given time) enhancement (improvement) of one’s abilities, functioning and body structure beyond species typical boundaries.

  • All Homo sapiens bodies – no matter how conventionally “medically healthy” – are in ill health in need of constant Improvement

  • Wolbring (2009) Nanoscale science and technology enabled transhumanization of health and related areas for (2) Daniel Lee Kleinman, Jason Delborne, Karen Cloud-Hansen, and Jo Handelsman (eds.), Controversies in Science and Technology, volume (2) 1.  Leibert Publishers

  • Wolbring (2009) What next for the human species? Human performance enhancement, ableism and pluralism p. 141-163 in Development Dialogue No 52 August 2009 called What Next Vol II The case for pluralisman performance enhancement, ableism and pluralism p. 141-163 in Development Dialogue No 52 August 2

  • Wolbring (2008) Why NBIC? Why human performance enhancement? European Journal of Social Science Research, Vol 21,No.1,pp.25-40

  • Wolbring (2006) Journal of Health and Development (India), "Emerging technologies (Nano, Bio, Info, Cogno) and the changing concepts of Health and disability/impairment:  A New Challenge for Health Policy, research and care" Volume 2, Number 1&2, pp.19-37

  • Wolbring (2006) Three challenges to the Ottawa spirit of health promotion, trends in global health, and disabled people (Commentary), September/October 2006 issue of the Canadian Journal of Public Health

  • Wolbring (2006) "The triangle of Enhancement Medicine, Disabled people and the concept of Health: A new challenge for HTA, health research and health policy“ a 220 page report. Published by the Health Technology Assessment Unit of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for medical research http://www.ihe.ca/documents/hta/HTA-FR23.pdf

Beyond the species-typical model  of Health


Beyond the species typical model of rehabilitation

Beyond the species-typical model  of Rehabilitation

  • Rehabilitation is a treatment or treatments designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness, or disease to as normal /optimum a condition as possible.


The realpolitik of ableism

Ableism Studies


Ableism studies

Ableism Studies

  • Investigates:

  • (a) the social, cultural, legal, political, ethical and other considerations by which any given ability may be judged, which leads to favoring one ability over another;

  • (b) the impact and consequence of favoring certain abilities and rejecting others;

  • (c) the consequences of ableism in its different forms, and its relationship with and impact on other isms;

  • (d) the impact of new and emerging technologies on ableism and consequent favoritism towards certain abilities and rejection of others; and


Ableism2

Ableism…

  • Ableism Foresight: To anticipate and understand shifting desires for Abilities and changing forms of Ableism

  • Ableism Governance: the governance of the favouritism for certain abilities and the reaction towards non favoured abilities

  • Ableism Ethics; generates a framework of standards and values that guide the favouritism for certain abilities and the reactions towards humans and other biological entities that are seen -real or perceived- to lack these essential abilities. It also assesses the impact of different ableisms onto different ethics theories and ethical principles

  • Wolbring (2010) Susan Cozzens and Jameson M. Wetmore (eds.) The Yearbook of Nanotechnology in Society, vol. II: The Challenges of Equity and Equality (Springer 2010). my title Ableism and Favouritism for Abilities Governance, Ethics and Studies: New Tools for Nanoscale and Nanoscale enabled Science and Technology Governance

  • Wolbring (2009) Ableism and Favouritism for Abilities Governance, Ethics and Studies: New Tools for Nanoscale and Nanoscale enabled Science and Technology Governance

  • Wolbring (2009) " The convergence of science and technology governance with the governance of Ableism in Technology assessment Theorie and Praxis. Publisher Institute for Technology assessment and system analysis ITAS

  • Wolbring (2009) What next for the human species? Human performance enhancement, ableism and pluralism p. 141-163 in Development Dialogue No 52 August 2009 called What Next Vol II The case for pluralism


Ableism governance

Ableism Governance

  • Some governance questions

  • Which ableisms if any should drive S&T developments?

  • Which ableisms are exhibited in existing laws and governance structures?

  • Can one build an ableism preference index?

  • Whose ableism preference counts?

  • Are cultural ableism differences?

  • Can there be a global agreement on ableisms ?

  • And for the Trekkie: How did ableisms change after first contact?


Ableism and ability governance area

Ableism and Ability Governance Area

  • Ability Inequity, a normative term denoting an unjust or unfair distribution of- access to and protection from abilities generated through human interventions

  • Ability Inequity, a normative term denoting an unjust or unfair judgment of abilities intrinsic to biological structures such as the human body

  • Ability inequality a descriptive term denoting any uneven distribution of- access to and protection from abilities generated through human interventions, right or wrong

  • Ability inequality a descriptive term denoting any uneven judgment of abilities intrinsic to biological structures such as the human body, right or wrong


The realpolitik of ableism

Ability and Ableism Studies: A new field for the 21st Century

Impact on and Influenced by

-Consumers

-Families and Households

-NGO’s

-Funders

-Governments

-Society: New group: the Techno Poor/Unenhanced impaired and Disabled

-Communities

-Cultures

-Religions, Faith

-Local, Regional, National, Global dynamics

-Industry

-Military

-Change in physical environment

-Academics

-Students

  • Fields/discourses in need of an Ability and Ableism studies angle

  • -Ethics

  • -Governance

  • -History

  • -Anthropology

  • -Science and Technology -Studies

  • -Sustainability Studies

  • Medical and Social Health

  • -Health and other Technology Assessment

  • Foresight Studies

  • Sport

  • Economics

  • Urban Planning

  • Social Science and the Humanities

  • Arts

  • Fields/discourses in need of an Ability and Ableism studies angle

  • -Climate /Energy

  • -Privacy

  • -Transhumanized Body Politics

  • -Consumerism

  • -Competitiveness

  • -Biodiversity

  • Human Security (Ability; Self Identity; Climate, water, energy, job, education)

  • Health and wellbeing

  • Meaning of citizen/ country

  • Aging/Anti-Aging

  • -Artificial Intelligence

  • -Trade


Thank you to

Thank You to

My collaborators, my students, the organizers and you the audience


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