Gillman, Maureen, Heyman, Bob and Swain, John (1997) Life History or 'Case' History: the objectification of people with learning difficulties through the tyranny of professional discourses. Disability and Society, 12 (5). pp. 675-693. ISSN 0968-7599

Case histories of people with learning difficulties tend to privilege information that is useful to professionals, such as IQ and medical diagnosis. Such information allows professionals to slot people with learning difficulties into categories which inform 'treatment' and aid prognosis. Case records, as they are currently constructed, appear to further silence an already oppressed group of people, and to objectify, pathologise and label them. The subjects of such case records do not appear to be treated as stakeholders in the case recording process: their voices are not represented in such writings. Case records do not appear to contain information about the lived experience of people with learning difficulties. Ignorance of the unique histories of people with learning difficulties is dehumanising and allows professionals to psychologically distance themselves. Once humanity has disappeared, it is possible to treat people as 'objects' that can be controlled through 'respected' professional theories and their discursive practices

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