Rethinking Normalcy introduces the growing field of disability studies to an undergraduate audience in a variety of disciplines and programs based in the social sciences, humanities, and health sciences. The authors articulate the depth and breadth of this newly emerging field of study and provide a vibrant foretaste of the kind of work disability studies scholars and activists do to provocatively question the power of normalcy.
Strongly interdisciplinary, this volume draws upon many different social and cultural approaches to address disability as a social and political construction. Diverse chapters unite theoretical perspectives and personal accounts to critically analyze notions of disability as a personal tragedy, an abnormality, or an individual matter. Topics addressed in this reader include a review of the discipline, the normalization of suffering, institutionalization, law and policy, education and work, and issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality.
the chapters exemplify ways of questioning our collective relations to normalcy, as such relations affect the lives of both disabled and currently non-disabled people
over sixty per cent of this book features the work of disability studies scholars located in Canada
Part I: Disability Studies and the Question of Normalcy Chapter 1: The Social Model in Context, Michael Oliver Chapter 2: Disability History: Why We Need Another “Other,” Catherine J. Kudlick Chapter 3: Disability Studies: The Old and the New, Tanya Titchkosky Chapter 4: Disability, Identity, and Representation: An Introduction, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson Chapter 5: “Difference in Itself”: Validating Disabled People’s Lived Experience, James Overboe
Part II: Normalizing Suffering Chapter 6: Coming Face-to-Face with Suffering, Rod Michalko Chapter 7: When the Body Protests: New Versions of Activism, Diane Driedger Chapter 8: To Be or Not to Be? Whose Question Is It, Anyway? Two Women with Disabilities Discuss the Right to Assisted Suicide, Tanis Doe and Barbara Ladouceur
Part III: Institutionalizing Normalcy Chapter 9: Conspicuous Contribution and American Cultural Dilemmas: Telethon Rituals of Cleansing and Renewal, Paul K. Longmore Chapter 10: Patients at Work: Insane Asylum Inmates’ Labour in Ontario, 1841-1900, Geoffrey Reaume Chapter 11: Discipline and Dehumanization in a Total Institution: Institutional Survivors’ Descriptions of Time-out Rooms, Claudia Malacrida
Part IV: Law and Social Space Chapter 12: Bending towards Justice, Marcia H. Rioux Chapter 13: Legal Peripheries: Struggles over DisAbled Canadians’ Places in Law, Society and Space, Vera Chouinard
Part V: Education, Technology, and Work Chapter 14: Visible Minorities: Deaf, Blind, and Special Needs Adult Native Literacy Access, Charles Miller Chapter 15: Negotiating Identities, Negotiating Environments: An Interpretation of the Experiences of Students with Disabilities, Jacqueline Low Chapter 16: The Normality of Doing Things Differently: Bodies, Spaces, and Disability Geography, Nancy Hansen and Chris Philo Chapter 17: Disability, Marginality, and the Nation-State—Negotiating Social Markers of Difference: Fahimeh’s Story, Parin Dossa
Part VI: Global Interconnections and Local Challenges Chapter 18: The Sexist Inheritance of the Disability Movement, Corbett Joan O’Toole Chapter 19: Disabled Women: An Excluded Agenda of Indian Feminism, Anita Ghai Chapter 20: We Were Never Identified: Feminism, Queer Theory, and a Disabled World, Robert McRuer Chapter 21: Creating Community across Disability and Difference, Carla Rice, Hilde Zitzelsberger, Wendy Porch, and Esther Ignagni
Appendix: Students’ Resources: Further Readings and Related Websites
Tanya Titchkosky is Professor of Disability Studies and Associate Chair of OISE’s Social Justice Education Program at University of Toronto. Other research areas include: Interpretive methods; phenomenology as informed by Black studies; critical indigenous studies, queer and feminist theory; sociology of knowledge.
Rod Michalko is teaching Disability Studies in the Equity Studies Program of New College, U of T. He is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies, OISE, and also participates in the Critical Disability Studies Program at York University. Titchkosky and Michalko have jointly authored five books and numerous articles in disability studies.
"It is inspiring and exciting to see so much happening in disability studies in Canada and abroad and an excellent place to start is by reading Rethinking Normalcy. This volume illustrates the richness and relevance of disability studies to our everyday life by covering many of the debates, concepts, and controversies in this field from a primarily Canadian perspective…. There is nothing like this book in Canada. It is badly needed."
Geoffrey Reaume, Critical Disability Studies Graduate Program, York University
"The interdisciplinary nature of this volume is excellent. A major strength of the anthology is that it brings together a number of diverse and significant readings. Its broad cross-section of articles makes it ideal as an introduction to key issues and authors in disability studies."
Marcia H. Rioux, Graduate Program Director, Critical Disability Studies; Director, York Institute for Health Studies, York University
"In Rethinking Normalcy the editors provide an exciting and comprehensive collection of works that foreground the study of disability in Canada."
Jacqueline Low, Department of Sociology, University of New Brunswick
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