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Accidental IntoleranceHow We Stigmatize ADHD and How We Can Stop$
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Susan C. C. Hawthorne

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199977383

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199977383.001.0001

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Accidental Intolerance

Accidental Intolerance

(p.142) 5 Accidental Intolerance
Accidental Intolerance

Susan C. C. Hawthorne

Oxford University Press

The vast majority of people involved with ADHD do not intend to promote or accept intolerance. Quite the contrary—many lobby against stigmatization of ADHD. Yet the negative valence of ADHD’s characterization carries into practices of identification and treatment, and into daily conversations, attitudes, and relationships. By their ubiquity, the predominant view of ADHD, and the associated practices, naturalize negative responses. And, because the predominant view depicts ADHD as a permanent feature of individuals, the negative responses accrue to diagnosed people as well. By limiting ADHD-diagnosable people’s options, these responses constitute a form of intolerance. The intolerance is not the old stigma—it is biologized and medicalized, rather than overtly moral. Nevertheless, the widespread uptake of ADHD is at least in part acquiescence to institutionalized intolerance.

Keywords:   ADHD, intolerance, stigmatization, labeling, disability rights, dichotomization, medicalization, reification, internalization, psychopharmaceuticals

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