“Disability Theory is just the book we’ve been waiting for. Clear Tobin Siebers persuasively argues that disability studies transfigures basic. Disability Theory, Tobin Siebers (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, pages). Reviewed by Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson, Miami University of Ohio. Tobin Siebers’. “Disability Theoryis just the book we’ve been waiting for. Tobin Siebers in some of the major debates of the last thirty years in critical and cultural theory.
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It will be controversial in a number of areas and will probably ruffle feathers both in disability studies as well as in realms of cultural theory. Clear, cogent, compelling analyses of the tension between the ‘social model’ of disability and the material details of impairment; of identity politics and unstable identities; of capability rights and human interdependence; of disability and law, disability as masquerade, disability and sexuality, disability and democracy—they’re all here, in beautifully crafted and intellectually startling essays.
He understands that sexuality does not define disability but that disability “defamiliarizes” attitudes towards sexuality in significant ways, expanding our notions of what sexual activity accommodates and what it does to break down barriers between privacy and public life. Tobin Siebers is V. By looking at the body in this way, Siebers notes, one can easily see the lines of inclusion and exclusion drawn by the architects of architectural and social locations Siebers On behalf of which social body has a space been made accessible?
This position offers Siebers a chance to attend to complex embodiment in specific cases Deaf persons differ fundamentally from people in wheelchairs in their attitudes about disability; people with chronic illness differ from people with spinal injuries, etc. Speaking of Butler, Siebers notes that she claims “society uses pain of guilt to produce conformity with the heterosexual body” but that in her work, pain is rarely physical and more likely something like “pain of guilt or social repression.
Human society depends upon people benefiting from goods and services that no one person can create alone. The strength of social constructionism lies in its dual understanding that we cannot view bodies outside of culture, and that this insight, in and of itself, is liberating.
If a constituency is perceived to define rights claims for “special accommodation” around individual medical conditions, then that group could be said to be self-serving and narcissistic — hardly the best climate in which to mount a social movement.
The latter are a few of the examples that Siebers uses to show the complex nature of disability and the inadequacy of a one-size-fits-all definition of the term. It hinges on critical analysis of the ideological differences between poststructuralist and realist approaches to disability, and to identity politics more generally. He is also critical of Judith Butler who, despite tneory important critique of constructionism as being inadequate to material bodies, nevertheless tends to treat “abject bodies” and by extension disabled bodies as lacking authentic subjecthood.
The social theory inherent in disability identity, Siebers believes, can lead disabled sieberd to realize that their personal suffering is shared and to join together to create safety, community, and justice Siebers Disability, on the other hand, becomes an tobni trait, belonging to unfortunate persons in their particularity, but not representative of humanity as a whole Siebers The ever-present fact of the fragility of human life is one that tgeory culture turns from in its zeal to celebrate strength, youth, and able-bodiedness.
And that’s all to the good.
A Literature Review Destigmatizing Representation: Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with disabilify, publishers, and scholars worldwide. His work invites us to consider the transformation in human society that would occur if the reliance of a disabled people upon other human beings were considered disabiluty a shameful nor a tragic turn of events, but a reminder that all human beings rely upon one another for protection, for sustenance, and for life itself.
Language and Communication Disability Terminology: Siebers’ remarks on sexual surrogacy, architecture, and sexual pleasure are very important, especially given the powerful disabi,ity of sexuality in cultural theory in which disability seldom makes an appearance. That is small comfort for a person experiencing chronic pain or receiving dirty looks when boarding a bus or being denied access to a job, courtroom, or medical insurance.
Disability Theory rescues the historic body of disability from its diaspora into theories that require bodily difference without subjects attached. Sjebers order to create a theory of the body that moves past the disempowering individualization of disability, Siebers begins by viewing disability identity as a form of social theory that exposes the power relations between able-bodied and disabled people Siebers Nimble six-footers, with an siegers sense of dark spaces, acute hearing, and a love of staircases do.
In a particularly stunning section of the book, Siebers himself literally brings home his analysis by determining the nature of the social body that is welcome in his own house. Authors Instructors Media Booksellers Librarians. Such a representation helps to create siebfrs environment in which disabled people are easily victimized:.
Tobin Siebers, Disability Theory | Davidson | Disability Studies Quarterly
Backlash Against the ADA. Perhaps his most powerful critique is reserved for the accusation of narcissism leveled against disabled persons whose “special needs” require business owners to bend over backwards to accommodate access that able bodied persons take for granted. New York University Press, Social constructions have a constant impact on the lives of human beings — an impact that we can analyze, work with or against, and change. Our lives depend upon such interdependence.
After all, if disability is not a part of shared humanity, then it places human beings with disabilities outside of the collective of humanity.
Siebers is particularly good on the problem of “passing” in which the person with a disability must negotiate thekry door to the medical closet, opening it enough to expose one’s disability to a skeptical able-bodied public or else closing the door in order not to offend anyone. Disability Theory Tobin Siebers Limited preview – In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: A volume in the series Corporealities: Volume 1 through Volume 20, no.
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