Inciting Legal Fictions: 'Disability's' date with Ontology and the Ableist Body of Law

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Title Inciting Legal Fictions: 'Disability's' date with Ontology and the Ableist Body of Law
Author Campbell, Fiona Kumari Anne
Journal Name Griffith Law Review
Editor Berns, Sandra
Year Published 2001
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Griffith University
Abstract Activists with 'disabilities' have placed great trust in the legal body to deliver freedoms in the form of equality rights and protections against discrimination. This article argues that, while such equalisation initiatives have provided remedies in the lives of some individuals with 'disabilities', the sub-text of 'disability' as negative ontology has remained substantially unchallenged. Understanding disability requires more sustained attention to the ontological nature of disability, in particular the ways in which a 'disabled person' is produced. The article opens with a discussion of the difficult and complex(ing) area of ontology - in particular the performativity of 'disability' as a history of unthought and then moves on to a discussion of the ways 'disabled bodies' negotiate the symbol trade in 'disability' within the confines of the ableist regime of law. The increasing disability ontology wars are foregrounded by discussing the ways in which 'negative ontologies' are written into the practices and effects of law. As such, the article's focal concerns extend to law's understanding of the autonomous individual and technologies of freedom, strategies of 'social injuries', and attempts to introduce new formations of disability related to matters of 'election' and 'mitigation'. These battles over the (re)writing of disability are important because they affect the access of people with disabilities to welfare provision, protection under anti-discrimination legislation and formations of the perfectible, abled human self. Finally, the article concludes by suggesting that the law's continual reiteration of defective corporeality through the signification of 'disability' as legal proclamation (prescription) not only disallows the 'disabled' subject any escape from the normalising practices of compensation and mitigation but continues to negate possibilities of imagining the desiring 'disabled subject' in any voluptuous way.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2001 Griffith Law School. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 10
Issue Number 1
Page from 42
Page to 62
ISSN 1038-3441
Date Accessioned 2002-04-18
Date Available 2015-01-20T01:05:00Z
Language en_US
Research Centre Menzies Health Institute Qld
Subject PRE2009-Law and Society
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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