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Disability as Microcosm: the Boundaries of the Human Body

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Author Info

  • Elizabeth DePoy

    ()
    (Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine, 5717 Corbett Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA)

  • Stephen Gilson

    (Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine, 5717 Corbett Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA)

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    Abstract

    In this paper, we query the legitimacy of the atypical body for membership, quasi-membership, or exclusion from the category of human. Geneticized, branded, and designed as not normal, undesirable, and in need of change, embodied disablement can provide an important but circumvented analysis of the explicit and implicit nature of the legitimate human body, its symbolism, and responses that such bodies elicit from diverse local through global social and cultural entities. Building on and synthesizing historical and current work in the sociology of the body, in disability studies, in cyborg and post-human studies, this paper begins to ask questions about the criteria for human embodiment that are violated by interpretations of disability and then met with a range of responses from body revision to denial of the viability of life. Given the nascent emergence of this important topic, this paper chronicles the theory, questions and experiences that have provoked questions and posited the need for more substantive theory development and verification.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/2/4/302/pdf
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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/2/4/302/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Societies.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 302-316

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:2:y:2012:i:4:p:302-316:d:21573

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    Related research

    Keywords: humanness; embodiment; disability;

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