“It’s All in the Brain”?: An Invitation to Analyze the Discursive History of the Israeli Neurological Conceptualization of Learning-Disabilities


The intention of this article is to summon up novel thinking about the concept of Learning-Disabilities by scrutinizing the historical and social context in which it is embedded. The first part of the article presents the theoretical underpinnings of the sociological and cultural discourse on the field of disabilities, and reveals the obscurity that surrounds the concept of learning-disabilities through a short historical presentation of the evolution of the discourse and the various critiques that developed from it. In the second part, the researcher examines the definitions accepted in the Israeli disabilities discourse in comparison to that discourse in other countries. In contrast to the united front that the local field presents, it becomes apparent that the global discourse is heterogeneous and is characterized by a variety of opinions and disagreements. In the third part, the researcher examines one idiom which forms the basis for the Israeli disabilities discourse: the etiological one that deals with the connections between the disability and its neurological source. Through a discourse analysis of major texts of the Israeli disabilities field and of interviews with professionals, it becomes clear how central assertions were shaped into “medical and scientific facts”, even when their scientific foundations were quite shaky.

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Katchergin, O. (2015) “It’s All in the Brain”?: An Invitation to Analyze the Discursive History of the Israeli Neurological Conceptualization of Learning-Disabilities. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 5, 327-339. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2015.54029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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