Embodiment

One of the earliest goals of disability studies was to expose the various methods by which some bodies are marked as different and deviant while others are marked as normal. Disability studies scholarship focused on medicalization, rehabilitation, segregation, institutionalization, sterilization, and genocide demonstrated how such practices were instrumental to ideas of normalization and deviance. More recently, however, disability scholarship and disability culture more broadly have turned away from forces of institutionalization or medicalization to explore the relationship between disability and the concept of “embodiment.” Embodiment is a way of thinking about bodily experience that is not engaged solely with recovering the historical mistreatment of disabled people. Rather, it includes pleasures, pain, suffering, sensorial and sensual engagements with the world, vulnerabilities, capabilities, and constraints as they arise within specific times and places.

Although embodiment sometimes serves as a synonym for corporeality—the state of living in/through/as a body—disability studies scholars have tended …

This essay may be found on page 67 of the printed volume.

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