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Disability as Microcosm: the Boundaries of the Human Body
Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine, 5717 Corbett Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA
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Received: 20 August 2012; in revised form: 1 November 2012 / Accepted: 5 November 2012 / Published: 19 November 2012
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.
Keywords: humanness; embodiment; disability
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
DePoy, E.; Gilson, S. Disability as Microcosm: the Boundaries of the Human Body. Societies 2012, 2, 302-316.
DePoy E, Gilson S. Disability as Microcosm: the Boundaries of the Human Body. Societies. 2012; 2(4):302-316.
DePoy, Elizabeth; Gilson, Stephen. 2012. "Disability as Microcosm: the Boundaries of the Human Body." Societies 2, no. 4: 302-316.