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Theorizing the body: conceptions of disability, gender and normality
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: Disability & Society, ISSN 0968-7599, E-ISSN 1360-0508, Vol. 28, no 3, 408-417 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present article addresses different perspectives on the body in relation to conceptions of normality. It shows how a body perspective can be taken into account from an individual perspective without losing a structural perspective. This is accomplished using the phenomenological conceptions the lived body and the body as situated. This article is part of a sociological qualitative interview study, focusing on disability, identity, and gender, and specifically on conceptions of the body and gender, as experienced by Swedish young women labeled as having an intellectual impairment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 28, no 3, 408-417 p.
Keyword [en]
personal experiences, body, disability, gender, normality
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-202978DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2012.710010ISI: 000319101200009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-202978DiVA: diva2:634753
Available from: 2013-07-01 Created: 2013-07-01 Last updated: 2015-06-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. "Som en vanlig tjej": Föreställningar om kropp, funktionalitet och femininitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Som en vanlig tjej": Föreställningar om kropp, funktionalitet och femininitet
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores how the body and femininity are constructed by starting from the subjective experiences of 12 young women labelled with an intellectual impairment. The methodological approach is inspired by so-called participatory research. The study combines the concepts of (dis)ability and gender from a sociological perspective. It shows how the young women negotiate norms regarding the body and femininity to pursue the coveted body and femininity ideals, but also to do the opposite: resist these ideals. The thesis is based on the following four articles:

Theorizing the Body: Conceptions of Disability, Gender and Normality addresses different perspectives on the body in relation to conceptions of disability, gender and normality. The article highlights the importance of integrating disability and gender when exploring an understanding of conceptions and constructions of the body.

Negotiating Normality: The Complexity of Showing (off) Bodies identifies four different strategies the young women use to make themselves visible as fashionable young women of today, e.g. as non-disabled. It shows that these strategies comply with conceptions of fashion, and that they are at the same time expressions of different marks of resistance.                                                                           

Risky Transitions in an Ableist Environment: The Experience of Frequent Critical Looks presents an exemplification of social construction of the body by focusing on critical looks. The concept of critical looks is analysed from an intersectional perspective, specifically in relation to how (dis)ability, gender and, to some extent, age interact. It shows how the body is made visible by being stared at, both to oneself and to others depending on place and interactions.

Reflections on Collaborative Research: to What Extent, and on Whose Terms? discusses the possible methodological and ethical dilemmas found in different research phases, and in relation to the participants, in collaborative research within disability research. It shows that collaborative research can benefit from being problematized and discussed further regarding the categorization of disability as well as participation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 68 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 112
(dis)ability, gender, age, normality, femininity, the body, young women, intersectionality, feminist theory, sociology of the body, subjective experiences, participatory research, methodological and ethical dilemmas
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-252110 (URN)978-91-554-9266-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-14, Room IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-06-04 Created: 2015-04-30 Last updated: 2015-07-07Bibliographically approved

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Peuravaara, Kamilla
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