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The Empire of DisgustPrejudice, Discrimination, and Policy in India and the US$
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Zoya Hasan, Aziz Z. Huq, Martha C. Nussbaum, and Vidhu Verma

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199487837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199487837.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Disability, Exclusions, and Resistance

Disability, Exclusions, and Resistance

An Indian Context

(p.243) 12 Disability, Exclusions, and Resistance*
The Empire of Disgust

Anita Ghai

Oxford University Press

The study of disability has been a major preoccupation of the last three decades of my life. I will make an attempt here to present disability as an epistemic category, which interrogates normalization, stigma, subjugated subjectivity, difference, deficit, and the disabled body. Disability, like questions of race, gender, caste, and class, is one of the most provocative topics among scholars who have an interest in marginality. Very few people accept the fact that disability is as much a social construct as other categories such as gender. In short, disability is conceived as a naturalized category. Society thus exhibits a structural amnesia about a particular category of people, who, because they do not fit into the hegemonic discourse of ‘normality’, are excluded, separated, and socially disempowered. This social and cultural apartheid is sustained by the existence of a built environment, which lacks amenities for the disabled and solely caters to the needs of the more complete and able-bodied ‘Other’. This social disregard coupled with experiences of social, economic, and political subjugation deny the disabled a voice, a space, and even power, to disrupt these deeply entrenched normative ideals that deprive them their social presence and any semblance of identity.

Keywords:   disability, exclusion, resistance, ‘other’, sexuality

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