Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body

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Verso, 1995 - Health & Fitness - 203 pages
2 Reviews
In this highly original study of the cultural assumptions governing our conception of people with disabilities, Lennard J. Davis argues forcefully against “ableist” discourse and for a complete recasting of the category of disability itself.

Enforcing Normalcy surveys the emergence of a cluster of concepts around the term “normal” as these matured in western Europe and the United States over the past 250 years. Linking such notions to the concurrent emergence of discourses about the nation, Davis shows how the modern nation-state constructed its identity on the backs not only of colonized subjects, but of its physically disabled minority. In a fascinating chapter on contemporary cultural theory, Davis explores the pitfalls of privileging the figure of sight in conceptualizing the nature of textuality. And in a treatment of nudes and fragmented bodies in Western art, he shows how the ideal of physical wholeness is both demanded and denied in the classical aesthetics of representation.

Enforcing Normalcy redraws the boundaries of political and cultural discourse. By insisting that disability be added to the familiar triad of race, class and gender, the book challenges progressives to expand the limits of their thinking about human oppression.
  

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What I've read seems fascinating. However, I can't read the whole book because my disability makes reading hard copy books very arduous so I only tend to read ebooks. Unfortunately this book isn't available in ebook format! Which is a case of sad irony given the topic.

Review: Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body

User Review  - Jessica - Goodreads

Incredible. Fascinating. Read full review

Contents

Constructing Normalcy
23
How Europe Became
50
The Nineteenth Century
73
Disability and Theory
100
The Classical Nude
126
Uneasy Positions Disability
158
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Lennard J. Davis is head of the English Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is also Professor of Disability and Human Development. His books include "Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body" and "The Disability Studies Reader".

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