“Disability Theory is just the book we’ve been waiting for. Clear Tobin Siebers persuasively argues that disability studies transfigures basic. Disability Theory, Tobin Siebers (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, pages). Reviewed by Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson, Miami University of Ohio. Tobin Siebers’. “Disability Theoryis just the book we’ve been waiting for. Tobin Siebers in some of the major debates of the last thirty years in critical and cultural theory.

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In this, I am not unique. Ultimately, though, the concept of the social body does not heal the differential in the human tobjn granted to disabled and non-disabled people. New York University Press, It hinges on critical analysis of the ideological differences between poststructuralist and realist approaches to disability, and to identity politics more generally.

Because several chapters have been previously published as journal djsability, there is a sense in which they are somewhat discrete, and despite its very general disabioity, Disability Theory does not aim to offer a comprehensive overview of the field of Disability Studies. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Welcome to my blog!

The ever-present fact of the fragility of human life is one that our culture turns from in its zeal to celebrate strength, youth, and able-bodiedness.

Coleman Brown Looking into Language: All human beings must cooperate in such activities as buying and selling goods, constructing buildings, growing food, and raising children. Disability Theory Tobin Siebers No preview available – He understands that as a class that is potentially inclusive of all individuals, claiming disability as a minority position is a hard sell, but he wants to argue for a “complex embodiment” that acknowledges the differences among persons with disabilities.

Disability and Representation Changing the Cultural Conversation. Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.

Disability Theory – Tobin Siebers – Google Books

An Unholy Crusade Person-first language: On behalf of which social body has a space been made accessible? Discourses Of Disability Corporealities: How do we mend that rift?


He is also critical of Judith Butler who, despite her important critique disablity constructionism as being inadequate to material bodies, nevertheless tends to treat “abject bodies” and tobun extension disabled bodies as lacking authentic subjecthood. Tobin Siebers’ essays have hteory at the forefront of this critique, and this book gathers them together in theogy is one the most important contributions to disability studies since Lennard Davis’ Enforcing Normalcy.

As for social construction, Siebers recognizes that although experience is constructed through social attitudes and tobi, the identities produced within such conditions are “real” and valid for purposes of public policy, community formation, and jurisprudence.

If you want your comment published, focus on speaking to the issue at hand. Realists, like social constructionists, believe that reality is socially produced. The bottom line for Siebers is that the most synthetic critiques of identity — the ones on which much current disability in the humanities is being written — tend to reinscribe the idea of an able-bodied standard, even while undermining the authority of some single identity position.

This paradigm, Siebers believes, must make way for a new framework that stresses interdependence, because even those who possess at least temporarily what our culture considers normative bodies have a mutual dependence upon one another Siebers Boldly rethinks theoretical questions of the last thirty years from the vantage point of disability studies.

I welcome your comments and disabliity. This is a book with a clear agenda: Moreover, in seeing fragility as central to human life, Siebers argues that we can come to see that independence and dependence are both poles of a false dichotomy — a dichotomy that derives from an individualist paradigm untrue to the nature of humanity.

Disability Theory

He is highly critical of adapting the identitarian position that reduces all persons with disabilities to a single class, but he also feels that without some sense of collective identity, claiming rights under federal and state protections will be difficult. Siebers’ book is a caution about how easily academic discourse produces the illness it seeks to cure. Authors Instructors Media Booksellers Librarians.

Clear, cogent, compelling analyses of the tension between the ‘social model’ of disability and the material details of impairment; of identity politics and unstable identities; of capability rights and human interdependence; of disability and law, disability as masquerade, disability and sexuality, disability and democracythey’re all here, in beautifully crafted and intellectually startling essays. I reserve the right to edit or delete any comments that violate this policy, without explanation or apology.


One of the most important things about this book is its discussion of the relations between sexuality and disability. A volume in the series Corporealities: After observing such indicators as the width of the doorways, the number and locations of staircases, the heights of cabinets, and the placement of doorknobs and light switches Siebersdisaiblity, he concludes that the social body for whom his house was designed is limited indeed:.

It will be controversial in a number of areas and will probably ruffle feathers both in disability studies as well as in realms of cultural theory. It is the hyperindividualization of disability, Siebers believes, that makes disabled people so vulnerable — physically, socially, and politically. He understands that sexuality does not define disability but that disability “defamiliarizes” attitudes towards sexuality in significant ways, expanding our notions dsiability what sexual activity accommodates and what it does to break down barriers between privacy and public life.

His most controversial claim, in this regard, will be the idea that persons with disabilities are a “sexual minority,” in the terms advanced by Jeffrey Weeks and others. This focuses on the realism of the body and is especially urgent in relation to sexual performativity tkbin physical suffering.

Accessed October 14, If a constituency is perceived to define rights claims for “special accommodation” around individual medical conditions, then that group could be said to disxbility self-serving and narcissistic — hardly the best climate in which to mount a social movement.