Start Date

7-5-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

7-5-2014 2:30 PM

Subjects

Disability studies -- Social aspects, Queer theory, Women's studies, Mental illness -- Social aspects, Feminist theory -- Application to disability studies

Description

Objectives: Mad theory is in the early stages of development. This paper draws on disability studies and feminist thought in theorizing models of madness.

Methods: This paper explores the available literature in order to explore the contribution of feminism to mad theory.

Results: Disability studies have challenged hegemonic concepts of normality and the definition of disability as individual deficit. Disability becomes framed as a social construction involving power relations. Feminist perspectives on disability honor lived experience and human variation. In feminist thought, different ways of being are valued and people are recognized as equal in terms of human rights. Citizenship is relational and identity is fluid and involves multiple subjectivities. Feminism recognizes the embodied nature of human experience and understands personal narratives in a political, collective context. Feminist intersectionality allows exploration of how systems of oppression interlock. The differences and inequalities among the mad should be recognized in theory development.

Conclusions: Mad studies must be developed to address the prevailing narratives of essential inferiority that obscure the gifts of human diversity. Such narratives act to limit the mad imagination and obstruct the creation of enabling social environments. Grounded in the perspectives of mad people and cultures, theory and knowledge production would facilitate the incorporation of lived experiences and the meaning individuals make of madness.

Significance: Mad consciousness and theory must be developed in order to challenge social exclusion and oppression. The lived experience of madness can be an illuminating and driving force for the future of mad studies.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/11363

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May 7th, 1:00 PM May 7th, 2:30 PM

A Habitable Madness: Inclusion of Feminist Thought in the Development of Mad Theory

Objectives: Mad theory is in the early stages of development. This paper draws on disability studies and feminist thought in theorizing models of madness.

Methods: This paper explores the available literature in order to explore the contribution of feminism to mad theory.

Results: Disability studies have challenged hegemonic concepts of normality and the definition of disability as individual deficit. Disability becomes framed as a social construction involving power relations. Feminist perspectives on disability honor lived experience and human variation. In feminist thought, different ways of being are valued and people are recognized as equal in terms of human rights. Citizenship is relational and identity is fluid and involves multiple subjectivities. Feminism recognizes the embodied nature of human experience and understands personal narratives in a political, collective context. Feminist intersectionality allows exploration of how systems of oppression interlock. The differences and inequalities among the mad should be recognized in theory development.

Conclusions: Mad studies must be developed to address the prevailing narratives of essential inferiority that obscure the gifts of human diversity. Such narratives act to limit the mad imagination and obstruct the creation of enabling social environments. Grounded in the perspectives of mad people and cultures, theory and knowledge production would facilitate the incorporation of lived experiences and the meaning individuals make of madness.

Significance: Mad consciousness and theory must be developed in order to challenge social exclusion and oppression. The lived experience of madness can be an illuminating and driving force for the future of mad studies.