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Title: Exploring the psychological and emotional impact of ableism in education and motherhood : a tale of two parts
Author: Daniels, Julia Nahal
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 4699
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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Ableism is everywhere. Its practices often operate under the guise of rationality, but they are toxic and pervasive. This programme of research addresses the psychological and emotional consequences of ableism in society, focusing particularly on two fundamental areas of social life: education and motherhood. The thesis will thus be divided into two separate but interrelated projects. Drawing on a range of theoretical orientations - Studies in Ableism (SiA); critical social psychoanalysis; and postconventionalist theories – I consider how the twines of ableism permeate into the concepts of being a ‘good’ student and a ‘good’ mother. Project One interrogates neoliberal ableism within the lives of disabled university students. It is conducted using a research design that reflexively reconsiders normative assumptions concerning the naturalisation of speech and the written word. The findings indicate that disabled students are positioned in the ableist imaginary as unruly and demanding, in stark contrast to the vision of the ‘ideal’ student who is autonomous, self-regulatory, and compliant. This vision can be reabsorbed into the minds of disabled students, leading them to disavow and reject their disability, or endeavour to ‘pass’ as non-disabled. Both these reactions can cause a significant amount of psychological and emotional distress. Project Two seeks to unmask the values that nourish the ideology of motherhood (ableism’s production) and analyse how we as a society reinforce these values (ableism’s performance). It frames the ways in which disabled mothers potentially resist and challenge these normative notions. I use my position as an insider- researcher to strengthen my critical positionality, using my particular vantage point to unravel the complexity of threads that make up the entrenched social perceptions of what it means to be a mother, revealing the rotten core of neoliberal capitalist values at its root. Through this, we can begin to challenge and refuse such limiting concepts. Using postconventionalist theories I position disability as a productive force that refutes neoliberal ableist normativity, and enables new knowledges to be created that incorporate embodied vulnerability and the necessity of living interdependently with others.
Supervisor: Goodley, Daniel ; Beckett, Angharad Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available