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The Fourth Edition of the Disability Studies Reader breaks new ground by emphasizing the global, transgender, homonational, and posthuman conceptions of disability. Including physical disabilities, but exploring issues around pain, mental disability, and invisible disabilities, this edition explores more varieties of bodily and mental experience. New histories of the legal, social, and cultural give a broader picture of disability than ever before. Now available for the first time in eBook format 978-0-203-07788-7.
In The End of Normal, Lennard J. Davis explores changing perceptions of body and mind in social, cultural, and political life as the twenty-first century unfolds. The book's provocative essays mine the worlds of advertising, film, literature, and the visual arts as they consider issues of disability, depression, physician-assisted suicide, medical diagnosis, transgender, and other identities.
This book tries to think through some of the complex issues raised by concepts such as the body, the normal, the abnormal, disability, the disabled, and people with disabilities. I wrote this book because I believe deeply that people with disabilities, Deaf people, and others who might not even consider themselves as having a disability have been relegated to the margins by the very people who have celebrated and championed the emergence of multiculturalism, class consciousness, feminism, and queer studies from the margins.
At last the envelope from the lab arrives. My wife hands it to me, giving me an expectant and sympathetic look. My hands shake when I pick up this bland looking envelope, knowing that inside I will find the answer to the obsessive question I have been asking.
We live in an age of obsession. Not only are we hopelessly devoted to our work, strangely addicted to our favorite television shows, and desperately impassioned about our cars, we admire obsession in others: we demand that lovers be infatuated with one another in films, we respond to the passion of single-minded musicians, we cheer on driven athletes. To be obsessive is to be American; to be obsessive is to be modern. But obsession is not only a phenomenon of modern existence: it is a medical category -- both a pathology and a goal. Behind this paradox lies a fascinating history, which Lennard Davis tells in "Obsession". Beginning with the roots of the disease in demonic possession and its secular successors, Davis traces the evolution of obsessive behavior from a social and religious fact of life into a medical and psychiatric problem. From obsessive aspects of professional specialization to obsessive sex and nymphomania, no variety of obsession eludes Davis's graceful analysis. "Obsession" also considers the clinical definition of the condition: Davis investigates the huge increase (estimates suggest up to 600-fold) in diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder over the past thirty years. Surveying the many ways in which doctors today treat OCD, he points out the limitations of and contradictions within the biological definitions of the disease. Impassioned, witty, and learned, "Obsession" is for anyone -- from compulsive hand washers to professional psychologists -- who has been fascinated by, struggled with, or cultivated obsession.
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