Disability, Connectivity and Transgressing the Autonomous Body

Journal of Medical Humanities 27 (3):187-196 (2006)
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Abstract

This paper explores the interconnectedness of persons with disabilities, technologies and the environment by problematizing Western notions of the independent, autonomous subject. Drawing from Deleuze and Guattari’s reconfiguration of the static subject as active becoming, prevailing discourses valorizing independence are critiqued as contributing to the marginalization of bodies marked as disabled. Three examples of disability “dependencies”—man-dog, man-machine, and woman-woman connectivities—are used to illustrate that subjectivity is partial and transitory. Disability connectivity thus serves a signpost for an expanded understanding of subjectivity and suggests a radically altered ethics that is no longer premised on individual rights.

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