Abstract

More and more persons with mental retardation and psychiatric disabilities are present in mainstream society, yet have little interaction and few relationships outside their own peer groups of devalued persons. Social integration remains a desirable yet elusive goal for most human service organizations, and there continues to be a certain amount of confusion about what constitutes social integration. Recent reviews in North America and Europe testify to the difficulty of achieving social integration, particularly for people with mental retardation and psychiatric disabilities. Social role valorization, with its use of the social role concept, provides useful insights and tools for analyzing the social integration conundrum. A social role conceptualization of social integration is proposed and an illustrative example is provided.

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