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    Becoming rhizomatic parents: Deleuze, Guattari and disabled babies

    Goodley, Dan A. (2007) Becoming rhizomatic parents: Deleuze, Guattari and disabled babies. Disability and Society, 22 (2). pp. 145-160. ISSN 0968-7599

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    Abstract

    In order for the sociological study of disability to enable, then it must be ready to conceptualize complex terrains of knowledge and activism. Research has to work alongside disabled people, their allies, their practices, their resistances and their theorizing. This paper makes a case for a framework of understanding that situates such work. Disability studies tends to understand its concepts (e.g. disability, exclusion, inclusion, impairment, politicization, people) as entities rooted in arborescent and hierarchical forms of knowledge. These modernist misconceptions can be challenged through understanding knowledge, practice, living and activism as rhizomatic, captured as lines of flight which are always becoming. As a new reader of Deleuze and Guattari, I make a case for disability research understanding parents and their disabled children as deconstructing or (re)deterritorializing the areas of policy, politics, practice, theory and activism. Creating burrows for shelter and eventual breakout, becoming 'angel makers', drawing on narratives of parents of disabled babies, this paper maps out a vision of parents not blocked by the strata of disabling society, but enabled by lines of flight, resistance, flux and change. This paper aims to be Deleuzoguattarian but only in ways that fit the complexities of parents' accounts.

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