Knowing me, knowing you, aha!: does the urge to know impairment reveal an urge to know normal?

MALLETT, Rebecca and RUNSWICK-COLE, Katherine (2010). Knowing me, knowing you, aha!: does the urge to know impairment reveal an urge to know normal? In: Critical Disability Studies Conference : Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane, Manchester, 12-13 May 2010. (Unpublished)

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Official URL: http://www.rihsc.mmu.ac.uk/event_news/news.php?id=...

Abstract

This paper will be structured around a series of vignettes focusing on moments from lived experience, media, social-science, humanities and science when the urge to ‘know’ impairment reveals itself. Through these, we will explore how medical diagnoses and ‘impairment labels’ function as solid, foundational knowledge from which other knowledge can be deduced, often resulting in ‘aha’ moments of revelation. We argue that if we take impairment labels to be explanatory indicators of abnormality, and despite much being written about the role of ‘normal’ in the process of categorising the ‘abnormal’ (e.g. Davis, 1995), the routine recourse to impairment labels within, for instance, literary criticism, student support and celebrity culture, remains largely unproblematised. In attempting to disrupt this process, we delve into moments when impairment labels are mobilised as coherent categories within seemingly non-biomedical perspectives and ask: are we so obsessed with normal that the only way we can deal with abnormal is by imposing sub-categories of normal? (Presented at Critical Disability Studies Conference *Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane*: 12th-13th May: Manchester, UK)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Depositing User: Rebecca Mallett
Date Deposited: 27 May 2011 10:10
Last Modified: 27 May 2011 10:10
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3524

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