Social Setting, Stigma, and Communicative Competence

Explorations of the conversational interactions of retarded adults

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Mentally retarded individuals have been studied almost exclusively as clinical entities, not as persons immersed in the stream of social life. This has led not only to a lack of appreciation for the complexity of their lives and concerns, but also to an underestimation and incomplete understanding of their intellectual and linguistic skills. By exploring aspects of the ongoing linguistic and social lives of retarded individuals in various community contexts, this volume contributes to a growing body of literature which attempts to fill in this inadequate picture. In addition, the studies in this volume offer social scientists insights into the way that stigma such as that associated with intellectual and social incompetence affects social groups and influences conversational behavior and language use.

Subjects: Discourse studies; Pragmatics; Language disorders & speech pathology

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