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Disability/Postmodernity: Embodying Disability Theory [Paperback]

Tom Shakespeare , Mairian Corker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 30 2002
With contributions from leading scholars in the USA, Canada, the UK, Switzerland, Japan, India, Australia and Jordan, Disability and Postmodernity is the first book to study disability within the context of the "postmodern" world of the twenty-first century. Organized into three sections, the volume opens with an exploration of theoretical perspectives, looking especially at phenomenology, at the body, and at concepts of difference and identity. The second section deals with culture, discussing aesthetics, narrative, film, architecture and design, while the final section explores social practice, including chapters on disabled childrens' perspectives, sexual identity and "madness and mental distress".The collection creates a bridge between social science perspectives on disability (predominant in disability studies in the UK for example) and humanities perspectives (which dominate the US approach). The authors aim to demystify the concept of postmodernity and to suggest ways in which it fosters a holistic approach to the study of disability that better represents and reflects the complexity of disabled people's experience. This is a unique and important contribution to both disability studies and social and cultural theory.

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Disability/postmodernity does well to signal the emergence of a new postmodernist sensibility that has largely failed to emerge from the 'social model' approach to disability research. I found the book both engaging and enjoyable and thoroughly recommend it.
(Cassandra Loeser, Research Centre for Gender Studies, University of South Australia, Magill SA Australia)

Disability/postmodernity does well to signal the emergence of a new postmodernist sensibility that has largely failed to emerge from the 'social model' approach to disability research. I found the book both engaging and enjoyable and thoroughly recommend it.
(Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

University of Lancashire

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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful new book June 3 2002
Format:Paperback
This is an amazing, excellent book. You should buy it, it is taking disability studies in a whole new direction. It is innovative, committed, principled, and intellectually rigorous.
It discusses many impairments ranging from cerebral palsy to blindness, and it discusses many aspects of life as a disabled person, from negotiating identity to life as a disabled child, to estalishing a sexual identity... What a great book.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Disability Studies in a new direction June 3 2002
By Mark Sherry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was one of the first books in disability studies to seriously attempt to engage with postmodern social theory. Like all edited collections, it can be somewhat patchy... but some of the contributions are outstanding.

It largely engages with debates in Britain about the social model of disability (which separates impairment from disability) and suggests that a more nuanced approach is necessary.

For those in disability studies, there are some very useful chapters... for those outside academia, less so.

For those of you interested in disability studies, here's some more information:

The (British) social model of disability moved the focus of disability studies away from what is "wrong" with a disabled person's mind/body/senses etc onto the disabling barriers in society. But the social model still left a lot of personal and theoretical questions largely unexplored. For instance, it didn't really grapple with the question of identity in any serious way. And it didn't really engage with contemporary postmodernist thinking. This edited collection, which examines a range of disabilities, goes some way towards suggesting how a more serious engagement with theories like postmodernism might be done. A pretty heavily theoretical topic, one that might be interesting for graduate students especially.
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