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Enabling embodiment: Situating masculinity and the body in contemporary disability studies

Chinna, Nicholas Darcy (2006) Enabling embodiment: Situating masculinity and the body in contemporary disability studies. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This dissertation is a critical review of both disability studies and men's studies. The focus of this interdisciplinary research is the role of the body and embodiment in the construction of both physical disability and masculinity. A critical understanding of embodiment is positioned as the means by which the connection between socially constructed meaning and material context can be made. The central purpose of the dissertation is to foreground the critical study of disability and to highlight the contribution made by this discipline toward sociological and cultural knowledge. Awareness regarding critical theory on disability remains marginal even within an academic context while medical models and individual narratives continue to dominate the public discourse on disability. It is therefore important to demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of disability studies and to further engagement with other paradigms. This dissertation builds on previous engagements between disability studies and the critical study of gender. By using critical or pro-feminist men's studies, as opposed to conservative and essentialist affirmations of masculinity, the ways in which normative constructions of disability contradict normative or hegemonic constructions of masculinity are interrogated. Disabled men are located outside hegemonic masculinity. Rather than seek to conform, they can use their marginalised position to critically engage with normative constructs of both ability and gender.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Brabazon, Tara and McHoul, Alec
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