The Rhetoric of Ableism

James L. Cherney

Abstract


This essay argues that rhetoric is both the means by which ableist culture perpetuates itself and the basis of successful strategies for challenging its practices. Public demonstrations, countercultural performances, autobiography, transformative histories, and critiques of ableist films and novels all apply rhetorical solutions to the problem of ableism. The study employs Kenneth Burke's theory of identification and Stuart Hall's configuration of ideology to uncover those commonplace "languages of practical thought" that generate and sustain ableist perspectives and ideas. Focusing on the rhetoric of ableism at the level of the warrants used to interpret disability, this article closely examines the way Aristotle's Generation of Animals relies on the equivocation "normal is natural."

Keywords


Ableism; Aristotle; identification; Kenneth Burke; rhetoric; Stephen Toulmin; warrants

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v31i3.1665

Copyright (c) 2011 James L. Cherney



Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Maureen Walsh. Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

ISSN: 2159-8371