[Air-l] ableist language

Kevin Guidry krguidry at gmail.com
Fri Sep 8 12:39:02 PDT 2006

On 9/8/06, Michele White <mwhite at michelewhite.org> wrote:
> I want to support Kathy Mancuso's consideration of the
> ways the language that we use to describe things can
> privilege some individuals and continue to produce a
> series of binaries. This is an important and
> appropriate post to the list and I hope that we can
> take her questions and concerns seriously.

   While in agreement with the importance of their social
significance, I think it's also important to note the impact of our
chosen metaphors on research.  Brian Butler makes a cogent argument in
"When is a Group not a Group: An Emprical Examination of Metaphors for
Online Social Structure" that the metaphors with which we have
described online social structures has "biased the existing set of
empirical studies."  Although Butler's research concentrated
specifically on listservs it's an important and lasting lesson for


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