This article primarily accounts for walks taken in purportedly public places with ‘Paul’, a middle-aged man who is currently diagnosed as having ‘severe learning difficulties’. These walks offer windows into the ways in which dis/ableist discourses and the powerful abstractions they produce descend to the level of practice, seeping into seemingly innocuous spaces, and the interactions and subjectivities therein. Through these encounters, persons become complicit in the production, maintenance and reinforcement of non-disabled (or abled)/disabled identities. This article nevertheless attempts to destabilize and defetishize the ontological categories that these encounters realize, and to recognize the vitality and presence set aside or concealed behind these concepts.
- fetishize/defetishize (autism)
- non-disabled (or abled)/disabled binary
- Severe learning difficulties
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Health Professions(all)
- Social Sciences(all)