I enjoyed reading your post. Some of us are doing, and have done the sort
of work you recommend.
For instance, I offer critiques of "impairment" in particular and the
social model in general in my papers "On the Government of Disability"
(_Social Theory and Practice_, vol. 27, no. 4, 2001) and "On the Subject of
Impairment" (in _Disability/Postmodernity_, ed. Corker and Shakespeare,
2002), as well as in a forthcoming paper on prenatal testing which is
entitled "Anti-Realism, Bio-Politics, and the Government of Impairment in
Pregnancy" (in _Critical Disability Theory: Essays in Philosophy, Politics,
Policy, and Law_, ed. Pothier and Devlin, 2004). In all of these papers, I
use Foucault to show why, and how, the social model misrepresents (and
social model researchers and theorists misunderstand) modern forms of power.
A number of people have sent me enquiries about _Foucault and the Government
of Disability_ (University of Michigan Press), the book on Foucault and
disability which I have edited. I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm
about the book. I think it will certainly move disability theory and
research in new directions and present new challenges for the orthodoxies
and dogmas that have congealed in the discipline of Disability Studies. I
had understood (and indicated in response to some earlier queries) that the
book would be released in June of this year. Unfortunately, the production
and management departments of American university presses do not gear their
production schedules to editors' wishes and agendas. The book will be
released early next year, and a number of the authors in the book
problematize (to use Foucault's language) the category of impairment and/or
the social model.
To return to the claims in your mail,... I think we should not
underestimate how invested (in terms of institutional, economic, and social
positioning) some social model researchers/activists/theorists are in
retaining the ties that currently bind some people to the stigmatized
identity of "with an impairment". The task for those of us who refuse the
sort of disciplinary tutelage which they demand of us is to persistently
point out the gaps, exclusions, and closures of their work.
Department of Philosophy
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Arnold" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2004 3:21 AM
Subject: Re: new book
> I certainly welcome a critique of impairment as the whole philosophy of
> social model is in itself a product of social and cultural forces and
> emerged as it did not because it was right but because of many other
> political undercurrents.
> No matter what the intention behind the social model it is like any other
> thery in its implementation and becomes a slogan rather than a reality for
> hard line politicos if they do not realise that within it are contained
> contradictions and exclusions.
> It is not the concept of negative construction of difference as a cause of
> disability I quibble with but the failure to really comprehend what
> difference is, and to lean in ones connoting of the concepts towards a
> traditional canon of acceptable images of that "impairment".
> It does not take account of pyscological or neurological difference, a
> difference in the very way we percieve and react to what the physical
> supposes to be reality because one person's reality is not anothers.
> Is dyscalculia for example an impairment? is the ability to perform
> numerical calculations so essential to the human entity that a lack of it
> constitutes an impairment. I do not think so.
> The trouble with so much disability thinking is that inspite of the social
> model supposedly underlying it, it creates identities based around
> impairment which therefore exclude difference and the building of common
> approaches to discrimination based upon the notion that all forms of
> discrimination are based upon the devaluing or undervaluing of some aspect
> of difference, be that difference a physiological, or a neurological one,
> a genetic, or a self chosen one, eg being a linguistic or religios
> in a mainstream that despises that.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: The Disability-Research Discussion List
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Dr Dan Goodley
> > Sent: 13 March 2004 02:47
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: new book
> > Shelley
> > I appreciate a critique of 'impairment' as much as the next
> > person but do not
> > feel this 'personality politics' is really furthering the debate.
> > As Gregg is pointing out: chill with the personality attacks and
> > go with the
> > critique
> > all the very best
> > Dan Goodley
> > Quoting Shelley Lynn Tremain <[log in to unmask]>:
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