Disability, discourse and desire: Analyzing online talk by people with disabilities
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractFran Vicary, who has had cerebral palsy from birth, recently claimed in the UK newspaper, The Guardian, that most people with a disability seek to express themselves sexually. Arguing from personal experience, she said the expression of sexual desire is a much contested space for those with disabilities because their sexualities and bodies are controlled by broader public discourses that delegitimize and stigmatize their sexual agency and the possibility of pleasure. It is not surprising then that positive and empowering discourses of disability and sexuality are either invisible or missing. Drawing on discourse analysis, the author examines electronic talk by people with disabilities in a disability specific online community website. His analysis shows their rejection of mainstream discourses positioning them as asexual and the deployment of mainstream discourses, which draw on gender, sexuality and intimacy, as well as the circulation of disability-specific sexual pleasure discourses with sex workers and caregivers. The use of social media in expressing marginalized sexual identities is also discussed.
CitationHall, M. (2017) 'Disability, discourse and desire: Analyzing online talk by people with disabilities', Sexualities, DOI: 10.1177/1363460716688675
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