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"Philosophy of Education"

2014 year, number 3

Norm and antinorm: problems and prospectsof the inclusive education in China

M. A. Kuratchenko
Novosibirsk State Technical University, Pr. Karla Marksa, 20, Novosibirsk, Russia
Keywords: inclusive education, social norms, the traditional society, the education system


The article examines the categories of «norm» and «antinorm» in the Chinese tradition, and, as a consequence, their influence on the perception of persons with disabilities in society. The attitude towards the people that are different from others in the traditional culture is closely linked with the concept of the need to maintain stability of the society, the foundation of reproducing the customary practices and texts. In such a case, any going beyond the «normal» and generally accepted poses a risk for the community. The traditional cultures offer a variety of options for adaptation of antinorm: from destruction to assimilation, which seems to be a consequence of the existing in the community concepts of space and time, as well as the usual practices of social identity formation. In addition, within each cultural community there is uniquely solved the question of defining the boundaries between norm and antinorm. The data obtained in the course of the present study allow us to make conclusions about social adaptation, the role and place of persons with disabilities in the traditional Chinese society. Speaking of contemporary Chinese society, researchers as one of its main features indicate that the basic social practices are largely determined by the traditional beliefs. The perception of the people with disabilities and how to adapt them is no exception. The paper analyzes the legal framework, conducts a retrospective study of existing educational practices of persons with disabilities; the interpretation of lexical material suggests current trends in the development of inclusive education in China. It is interesting to note that these practices, which appeared in Europe and America a lot earlier, is the case of adaptation of foreign experience to Chinese realities. The study of the creation of inclusive education system in China is, on one hand, an experience of understanding the ways of adaptation of foreign elements by the traditional culture while maintaining both traditional and innovative components. On the other hand, it is a very interesting history of large-scale organization of millions of people to provide opportunities for education, occupation for the people with disabilities. It is a unique phenomenon, which has no analogues in the world.