Institutions for persons with disabilities as places of structural and personal violence

Přednáší: Angela Wegscheider
In Austria, the Federal Provinces are responsible for the legal regulation of care services for people with disabilities resulting in nine different Provincial Disability Acts with nine different systems. The lecture explores the situation of people with disabilities affected by institutionalisation in Upper Austria over the course of more than a century and identifies which factors promoted structural and personal violence or could not stop perpetrators. The presentation draws on several publications on disability policy and institutionalisation and aims to discursively deconstruct and (re)frame the foundation and legitimation of institutional care and education for persons/children with disabilities in the historical context. Focuses is on two main topics: an introduction to structures and framework conditions in the facilities and the influence of legal and social developments on the respective agents on the one hand, and everyday life from the perspective of persons with disabilities, on the other. The period covered is from the late 19th century up to today. The background of the analysis is formed by traditional claims and basic processes of modernity: power and domination, piety, religion and secularisation, professionalisation, bureaucratisation, rationalisation and, last but not least, marketisation of social spheres. Until the 1990-s institutional life in Upper Austria was influenced by the carers’ Christian motivation, care myths and simulation of a "home family", an unprofessional approach to care, education and employment, rehabilitation and medical omnipotence, and a comprehensive neglect of the state.