Power and Control in an Innovative Normalization Project

By Michael Wolf-Branigin.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Using the context and experiences garnered from a one-on-one experimental residential normalization initiative from the 1970s, I developed an autoethnography within a complex systems framework. This framework applies conflict, cooperation, and then creativity on two emerging issues from that period - the shift towards community inclusion and improving quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. The narrative illustrates changes that occurred by including my roommate in my daily life. While the initiatives’ activities facilitated community participation and normalization of my roommate - a young adult with multiple disabilities - it did not sufficiently empower him to live independently.

Keywords: Normalization, Intellectual Disability, Community Inclusion, Quality of Life

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp.31-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 932.001KB).

Michael Wolf-Branigin

Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Michael Wolf-Branigin, is an associate professor of Social Work at George Mason University. His research focuses on complexity science and its application to social work practice. His activities include (1) applying complex adaptive systems to social program evaluation, (2) infusing digital technology and social networking into social work curriculum, and (3) analyzing the historic emergence of social programs. Applications focus on the substantive topic areas of addictions and intellectual / development disabilities. His recent projects include evaluation of efforts to combat human trafficking and employment preparedness for adolescents with disabilities. He studied economics at the University of Stockholm, and completed his MSW from the University of Michigan. After working more than 20 years in the addictions and disabilities fields, he received his Ph.D. from Wayne State University . Since that time, he held positions in governmental and non-governmental consulting and academia. He currently serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals.

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