Sites of Normalcy: Understanding Online Education as Prosthetic Technology

Marie Moeller, Julie Jung

Abstract


Research on online education in relation to disability has, importantly, focused on issues of access and usability. This article seeks to complicate this research by examining the ways in which online education participates in an ideology of normalcy. Toward this end, we first describe online education as a site that promotes normalcy through its material practices of marginalization. We then extend this reading by analyzing how cultural narratives about online education function asdiscursive sites of normalcy by marking both online education and its users as less-than substitutes for the "real" versions. By constructing online education as a prosthetic technology, these narratives persuade marginalized bodies to recognize themselves as problems in need of solution, yet this reading itself becomes open to revision when we consider how the complexities of embodiment challenge an understanding of normalcy as a determinate discursive force.


Keywords


online education; prosthetic; rhetoric; emotion; materiality

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v34i4.4020

Copyright (c) 2015 Marie Moeller, Julie Jung



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

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

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.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)