I was thinking more about "situated autonomy" after our last class. We talked a bit about how anyone can be autonomous with the right support system, and within reason.
They way that each individual leans one, relies on, depends on [or whatever you want to call it] can be very different depending on the circumstances. For this reason, among others, I agree that we need (society in general) re-think and/or critique our perception / understanding of what it means to be autonomous. It is not uncommon, as we discussed, for people to conceptualize autonomy as success that is associated with money and "things."
I think it would be very difficult to change people's (in general) desires and wants away from valuing material things.
On another note, one thing I would like to mention when it comes to autonomy reminds me of something I experienced last summer. I was fortunate enough to visit the Facilitated Communication (FC) Center in Venice. The use of FC is pretty controversial and many people are skeptical about it.
At the same time, the form of communication is either de-valued, not respected, or not accepted by many people in the general public because it isn't spoken verbal communication. What I find interesting is that many people who are neuro-typical probably consider themselves to be autonomous and view "normal" spoken verbal communication as superior– and this is silly in many ways.
Think about how many times people need advice, ask questions, or just don't know what to say or do without leaning on or confiding in another person. Most times after these interactions take place, an "ordinary" person would consider themselves to be completely autonomous in expressing or communicating the very thought that developed throughout those exchanges.
Many people probably wouldn't consider how that interaction could be considered a support. Most people, if not everyone, needs some support in some way. There is continual interdependence between human beings, but I don't think many people acknowledge that. Or maybe they do and don't want to accept that- I'm not sure. But we are not as individual as we might want to believe.
So, it really is just silly to perceive someone who needs a particular support, as any less of a person when we all generally need some type of support depending on the situation.