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Tropes of dis/ableism as flexible stigma : examining Brenda Connors' 2008 report as an instance of dis/ableist polemical rhetoric

Author: Brandon Fletcher
Publisher: [Long Beach, California] : California State University, Long Beach, 2017.
Dissertation: M.A. California State University, Long Beach 2017
Series: California State University, Long Beach.; Master's thesis collection, Department of Communication Studies.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Summary:
Abstract: Within political discourse, tropes of ability and disability are rhetorically applied in a way that stigmatizes particular individuals or groups by associating the targets of such rhetoric with preexisting normative perspectives framing able-bodiedness as valuable, and disability as undesirable. By analyzing Brenda Connors' diagnosis of Putin as having Asperger's syndrome, I argue the language used in her  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Academic theses
Named Person: Michel Foucault; Michel Foucault
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Brandon Fletcher
ISBN: 9780355066425 0355066424
OCLC Number: 1000388080
Description: 1 online resource (iv, 98 pages)
Series Title: California State University, Long Beach.; Master's thesis collection, Department of Communication Studies.
Responsibility: by Brandon Fletcher.

Abstract:

Abstract: Within political discourse, tropes of ability and disability are rhetorically applied in a way that stigmatizes particular individuals or groups by associating the targets of such rhetoric with preexisting normative perspectives framing able-bodiedness as valuable, and disability as undesirable. By analyzing Brenda Connors' diagnosis of Putin as having Asperger's syndrome, I argue the language used in her Pentagon funded report constitutes a form of dis/ableist polemical rhetoric. Incorporating Michel Foucault's scholarship concerning biopolitics, governmentality, and madness, as well as relevant critical disability studies scholarship, I outline how an instance of polemical discourse can invoke disablist and ablest discourses for polemical rhetoric. Ultimately, I argue that dis/ableist polemical rhetoric outlines the role that categories of ability and disability play in international relations and domestic political discourse, which I suggest has important theoretical implications for political communication, critical disability studies, and Foucault scholarship.

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