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Cultural Locations of Disability$
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Sharon L. Snyder and David T. Mitchell

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226767314

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226767307.001.0001

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Introduction: Cultural Locations of Disability

Introduction: Cultural Locations of Disability

(p.3) Introduction: Cultural Locations of Disability
Cultural Locations of Disability
University of Chicago Press

This book examines cultural spaces that have been set out exclusively on behalf of disabled citizens, such as nineteenth-century charity systems; institutions for the feebleminded during the eugenics period; the international disability research industry; sheltered workshops for the “multi-handicapped”; medically based and documentary film representations of disability; and current academic research trends on disability. It characterizes these sites as cultural locations of disability in which disabled people find themselves deposited, often against their will. At the very least, each of these locales represents a saturation point of content about disability that has been produced by those who share certain beliefs about disability as an aspect of human differences. The book traces these beliefs back to the eugenics era, when disability began to be construed as an undesirable deviation from normative existence.

Keywords:   disability, cultural space, charity system, disabled citizens, eugenics, disability research

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