Representations Of Disability In Military Veterans During The 20th Century

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Amita Wanar HSPB W3950 James Colgrove 10/22/15 Representations of Disability in Military Veterans During the 20th Century At the end of the Civil War, Andrew Johnson alleged our nation 's supposed investment in our veterans by claiming that “ a grateful people will not hesitate to sanction any measures having for their relief of soldiers an effort to preserve our national existence.” Since then, our changing perception of disabled veterans of military service has affected the success and practice of their rehabilitation. Historians and social scientists have found it difficult to understand the process of identity formation among disabled veterans. This difficulty is rooted in historian’s inability to make sense of the disabled veteran’s history, social position, and representation in culture and discourse. Historian Paul Lawrie, who argues one of many interpretations of how these veterans are represented, believes that the conflation of disability and blackness denied African-American veterans basic human rights in the time after World War II. However, as racial prejudices slowly improved over the course of the century, historians interpreted other social, political, and cultural forces as main influences of the formation of representation of these veterans. Historians have suggested that, in addition to race, social welfare policy, film, and gender have all worked in cohesion, or in conflict at times, to determine these representations. Characteristic

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