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Disability as Diversity: A New Biopolitics

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We’re a medical anthropologist and a literary critic, and while our research interests seemingly have little overlap, we found ourselves engaged in a series of conversations about how the language of diversity shapes representations of disability and reproductive politics, and how this representation stems from the biopolitical management of life in the twenty-first century. In the short essay that follows, …

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Inhabitable Worlds: Troubling disability, debility, and ability narratives

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This series will interrogate the theoretical tools and approaches that scholars bring to the study of disability in the social sciences. Scholars have recently turned a focused attention on different states of bodily and sensorial experience; we aim to connect these concerns with questions about how people experiencing such differences create inhabitable worlds. In doing so, we draw inspiration from …

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The collaborative turn: interdisciplinarity across the human sciences

Questions of health, medicine and science have long animated sub-disciplinary attentions in the social sciences and humanities. Recently, however, research around these topics has taken a marked collaborative turn. If topics in the medical and health sciences were once straightforward objects of study for anthropological, sociological or philosophical analysis, increasingly, to work ‘on’ such topics often means also to work …

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(Dis)harmonious Socialities: Deaf multi-level marketing participation in India

In this post, I want to think about what the popularity of multi-level marketing businesses among Indian Sign Language-using deaf Indians means for how anthropologists and other social scientists analyze deaf worlds. In the current political economic moment, many deaf Indians are turning to multi-level marketing businesses for both livelihood and for imagining new deaf futures. There is the sense …

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From disability stigma to disability value: Notes from research on disability in urban India

I am a medical anthropologist who researches deaf and disabled peoples’ social, moral, and economic practices in urban India. When speaking with colleagues and friends in the United States and elsewhere, I am invariably asked about the existence of stigma in India and whether deaf or disabled people are treated as stigmatized. People also ask me about pollution and if …