This innovative and adventurous work uses broadly feminist and postmodernist modes of analysis to explore what motivates damaging attitudes and practices towards disability. Margrit Shildrick argues for the significance of the psycho-social imaginary, and suggests a way forward in disability's queering of normative paradigms.
This innovative and adventurous book examines disability in the context of two areas - subjectivity and sexuality - in which it has been hitherto suppressed. Using feminist and postmodernist analysis, Margrit Shildrick explores what motivates the discrimination, devaluation and alienation directed at disabled people, and argues that the difference that disability encapsulates uncovers a psycho-cultural imaginary that sustains modernist understandings of what constitutes an embodied subject. Where autonomy is the most valued attribute of subjectivity, any compromise of bodily control, indication of connectivity, or of corporeal instability, mobilizes a deep-seated anxiety in the normative majority that is most acute in relation to disability and sexuality. By critiquing conventional paradigms this study shows how it becomes possible to celebrate the fluidity, unpredictability and connectivity - already associated with disability - and creatively queer understanding of the embodied self.; Using an analysis that draws on critical cultural theory, emergent strands in critical disability studies, postconventional philosophy and feminist theories of the body from Merleau-Ponty to Haraway and Deleuze, and social policy and legal discourse, Shildrick argues for the need to contextualise disability as a matter of ethical import.
Acknowledgments Introduction Corporealities Genealogies Contested Pleasures and Governmentality Sexuality, Subjectivity and Anxiety Transgressing the Law Queer Pleasures Global Corporealities Conclusion: Thinking Differently Notes Bibliography Index