Disturbing bodies : reimagining comforting narratives of embodiment through feminist disability studies

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The world responds to us because of our embodied selves, and we respond to the world through our embodiedness. Some bodies are admired, some are rejected. Some are perceived as normal, some as abnormal. Hence, bodily differences are not neutral facts. In society there are normative standards of embodiment that people ought to live up to, and anyone who does not is stared at, ignored, feared, or in various ways marginalized through oppressive practices. These practices are legitimated by dominant systems of representation and by cultural narratives that shape the material world, inform human relations, and shape our sense of who we are. This article discusses and challenges the dominant cultural narrative – the normalcy narrative – that makes the able-bodied, rational, male subject the normative standard in society. From a feminist disability perspective, narratives of embodiment are rethought, reimagined, and re-conceptualized. The world responds to us because of our embodied selves, and we respond to the world through our embodiedness. Some bodies are admired, some are rejected. Some are perceived as normal, some as abnormal. Hence, bodily differences are not neutral facts. In society there are normative standards of embodiment that people ought to live up to, and anyone who does not is stared at, ignored, feared, or in various ways marginalized through oppressive practices. These practices are legitimated by dominant systems of representation and by cultural narratives that shape the material world, inform human relations, and shape our sense of who we are. This article discusses and challenges the dominant cultural narrative – the normalcy narrative – that makes the able-bodied, rational, male subject the normative standard in society. From a feminist disability perspective, narratives of embodiment are rethought, reimagined, and re-conceptualized.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1–12
JournalScandinavian Journal of Disability Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Body
  • Normalcy
  • Feminist disability studies
  • Ethics
  • Life stories

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