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Cultural Locations of Disability

Cultural Locations of Disability

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Published by University of Chicago Press an imprint of UChicagoPress
In Cultural Locations of Disability, Sharon L. Snyder and David T. Mitchell trace how disabled people came to be viewed as biologically deviant. The eugenics era pioneered techniques that managed "defectives" through the application of therapies, invasive case histories, and acute surveillance techniques, turning disabled persons into subjects for a readily available research pool. In its pursuit of normalization, eugenics implemented disability regulations that included charity systems, marriage laws, sterilization, institutionalization, and even extermination. Enacted in enclosed disability locations, these practices ultimately resulted in expectations of segregation from the mainstream, leaving today's disability politics to focus on reintegration, visibility, inclusion, and the right of meaningful public participation.

Snyder and Mitchell reveal cracks in the social production of human variation as aberrancy. From our modern obsessions with tidiness and cleanliness to our desire to attain perfect bodies, notions of disabilities as examples of human insufficiency proliferate. These disability practices infuse more general modes of social obedience at work today. Consequently, this important study explains how disabled people are instrumental to charting the passage from a disciplinary society to one based upon regulation of the self.
In Cultural Locations of Disability, Sharon L. Snyder and David T. Mitchell trace how disabled people came to be viewed as biologically deviant. The eugenics era pioneered techniques that managed "defectives" through the application of therapies, invasive case histories, and acute surveillance techniques, turning disabled persons into subjects for a readily available research pool. In its pursuit of normalization, eugenics implemented disability regulations that included charity systems, marriage laws, sterilization, institutionalization, and even extermination. Enacted in enclosed disability locations, these practices ultimately resulted in expectations of segregation from the mainstream, leaving today's disability politics to focus on reintegration, visibility, inclusion, and the right of meaningful public participation.

Snyder and Mitchell reveal cracks in the social production of human variation as aberrancy. From our modern obsessions with tidiness and cleanliness to our desire to attain perfect bodies, notions of disabilities as examples of human insufficiency proliferate. These disability practices infuse more general modes of social obedience at work today. Consequently, this important study explains how disabled people are instrumental to charting the passage from a disciplinary society to one based upon regulation of the self.

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Publish date: Jan 26, 2010
Added to Scribd: Jul 15, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780226767307
List Price: $25.00

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9780226767307

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wonderperson reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Synder and Mitchell The Cultural Locations of Disability 2006

I brought this to provide some particularities data to the thinking I am having around exploring the peculiar circumstances regarding the word 'emancipation' and the problem it poses to us who are effectively institutionalized by a variety of practices designed ostensibly for our good good..

And particularities it does. Synder and Mitchell are one of the few Academics providing for us a radical account of the actualites of disabled peoples lives as a source of a 'never ending research machine'. The research machine also provides rehabilitation and taxonomies based on medical need. But instead of heed it's emancipatory arms ie critical theory and ethical philosophy, it imposes a whole infrastructure of control where the disabled lose rights by very right of their being disabled.

(Pharmaceutical companies in this instance institute open season on such disabilies by chemical Coshes, and medicalisation of deviant behaviours separate from actual medical need). It is US based but despite of the analysis being based on US eugenics practices it is useful for all disabilities studies-especially those of service users who are the benefactors of the researcher machine whose knowledge is not needed as phenomenological experts.

Synder and Mitchell courageously in my humble opinion describe the assumption that disabled people don't have rights by right of them being institutionalized and the practices therein. The Service users are powerless to resist the movements of the Superior Body on account of their inarticulacy* (charles taylor as yet unexplored concept and critical one at that). Control of their inmates is top priority.

Foucaldian analysis is used to explicate the circumstances of the above in an account that will both disturb and enlighten and once again make angry any who are concerned for this group.
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