This symbolic interactionist theory examines the structure of relationships between the disabled and the nondisabled through face-to-face interaction and the formation and participation in organizations which provide specialized services. Some propositions from Randall Collin's Conflict Sociology (1975) create a framework for understanding the behavior of the disabled. Goffman's concept of career is used to examine the conditions under which various adaptive strategies are employed by the disabled to negotiate favorable definitions of self from their social communication. Finally, a symbolic interactionist explanation is outlined to account for the active and interested involvement of the nonhandicapped with the handicapped in getting the handicapped to accept their situation.

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