Chapter

Conclusion: Compulsory Feralization

in Cultural Locations of Disability

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780226767314
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226767307 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226767307.003.0007
Conclusion: Compulsory Feralization

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This chapter examines the status of the field of disability studies as it becomes formally institutionalized in the contemporary American university. While disability studies has opened up new discursive spaces for revising cultural attitudes and beliefs about disability, its increasing legitimation within the academy comes with its own conflicts. The university as a research location cannot merely divorce itself from the ethical and restrictive practices that have characterized the treatment of disabled people during the past two centuries. The institutionalization of disability studies is just that—a formal cultural ingestion process that churns out more knowledge about disability while resisting reflexive inquiries about whether or not more is inherently better. Of course, more knowledge is better for the institution because it keeps the research mill active, but here the study seeks to contemplate the degree to which an increase in disability-based data threatens to reproduce some of the problems in the context of disability studies.

Keywords: legitimation; disability studies; American university; cultural attitudes; institutionalization; research location

Chapter.  7440 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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