Bodies in Motion: critical issues between disability studies and multicultural studies

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Journal Article
Journal of Intercultural Studies, 2002, 23 (3), pp. 237 - 252
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Disability studies, with their direct challenge to theories of alterity, subaltern status and ideologies of domination, open up ways of examining cultural diversity that cannot otherwise be approached. This paper examines disability studies as a position from which multicultural studies can be interrogated, and through which critical questions about social hierarchies can be confronted. Given that national population policies and world-views underpin both multicultural and disability practices, an analysis which recognises this commonality seems overdue. The paper addresses the Australian environment, in which the politics of recognition, the nature of discourses of the normal, and the tensions generated in the politics of redistribution, merge in strategies adopted by the state to control the 'quality' of its population.
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