You could truly be yourself if you just weren't you: sexuality, disabled body space and the (neo)liberal politics of self-help

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    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Recent work in disability studies has drawn attention to the changing relationship between the visual representations of disability and contemporary US capitalism. One change identified is a newfound cultural recognition of disabled sexuality. In this paper I extend these arguments by considering the kinds of sexuality projected onto the disabled body at the intersection of regimes of disability, sexuality, and neoliberalism. I provide a governmentality/queer reading of visual representations of disabled sexuality and of two self-help disabled sex manuals to argue that interest in disabled sex may witness an investment in the ongoing production of normative sexualities, what Foucault called a 'truth of the self', within the context of neoliberal spatialities of disability. Based on dominant cultural understandings of sex as 'natural', 'predictable', and 'representable', these self-help manuals serve to produce a framework that depoliticizes the claims of disability culture movements. These manuals render the project of disabled sexual liberation a personal project of self-governance that scarcely challenges contemporary structures of (neo)liberalism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-159
    Number of pages16
    JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
    Volume25
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

    Keywords

    • DISABILITY

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