Will's Story: Managing Culturally Irreconcilable Identities in Everyday Life

Tara A. Fannon


This paper presents a case analysis from a larger research project surfacing visually disabled men's experiences of masculinity and disability in everyday life. Using the Listening Guide, a voice-centered relational method of narrative analysis, and the work of Erving Goffman and Critical Disability Studies, I present Will's story of self-exploration and illuminate how he navigates and negotiates relationships and social life in American culture, where masculinity and disability are commonly constructed as irreconcilable statuses. This paper advances knowledge about the mutuality between identities and social-structural experiences, with impairment situated between these processes as an embodied tether, that gives meaning and provides nuance to one's understanding and experience of himself in the world as a visually disabled man.


blindness; sensory impairment; masculinity; gender; identity; narrative

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v40i4.6975

Copyright (c) 2020 Tara A. Fannon

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

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 libkbhelp@lists.osu.edu.

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