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Book Review — JVIB Extract

Since Book Reviews do not have abstracts, we have provided an extract of the beginning of the text.

Extract: For many years, sociologists have worked to demonstrate the importance of social forces in shaping the impact of blindness (or any other physical or mental impairment) on individual lives. For over a decade C. Edwin Vaughan has been a major contributor to the study of the specific ways in which social forces affect blind people and the society in which they live. In his current book, Social and Cultural Perspectives on Blindness: Barriers to Community Integration, Vaughan builds on his previous work by analyzing how the social construction of blindness is shaped by how blindness is defined and by how these definitions have become embedded in institutions serving blind people in the United States. He goes on to address blindness in three cross-cultural contexts—sub-Saharan Africa, the People's Republic of China, and Spain. Such comparisons highlight how culture, social structure, and political economy define the significance of blindness within each of these societies and demonstrate how the “characteristics of blindness” (to use Vaughan's term) do not inevitably determine the opportunities a person has in life.

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