Disability studies reveals the manner in which seemingly innocuous social norms often invoke violence against, deny citizenship to, and disable those who defy them. Building on the work of scholars like Lennard Davis, Tanya Titchkosky, and Dan Goodley, Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane recognizes disability as a lived experience heavily influenced by sociocultural normalizing discourses and institutional practices. Consisting of essays presented at the 2013 4th Annual International Conference of Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane, the collection explores normalcy's "precarious positions" in relation to global, social, and economic inequalities. Composed by "activists, students, practitioners, and academics" (3), each chapter interrogates normalcy and its role in the social construction and embodiment of disability. Contributors theorize on disability as dynamically complex, contextually relational, and ecologically intersectional. As editors Rebecca Mallett, Cassandra A. Ogden, and Jenny Slater relay, each piece examines "what (everyday) encounters with liminality and/or marginalization reveal about the limits of normalcy" (8).

The collection addresses the political manner in which normative and non-normative labels impact institutional citizenship. Harriet Cooper's "Passing or Trespassing? Unseen Disability Containment and the Politics of 'Feeling like a Fraud' in a Neoliberal Bureaucracy," adeptly utilizes authoethnography to discuss "legibility" in institutional paperwork. By sharing her own experience with concealing, revealing, and labeling her disabilities, Cooper deconstructs "legibility" and "fraudulence," revealing the violent nature of institutional documents that "deman[d] legibility over experiential truth" (139) and that force individuals to "contain" and "package" their identities into easily recognizable, "manageable" forms (129). In "The 'Urge to Know' Normal: Theorising How Impairment Labels Function," Rebecca Mallett and Katherine Runswick-Cole also examine the impact of disability labels, utilizing Michel Foucault to trace how they function like authors' names and "account for 'difference''" (95) by providing the "truth" of one's identity (96). Utilizing popular culture like the field of "'literature and medicine,'" they demonstrate how such labels attempt to offer "a neutralizing force by normalizing the abnormal" (111); yet, they explain that such labels fail to "nullify difference" (112), and instead falsely define, limit, and alienate disabled experiences (115).

In "The (Normal) Non-Normativity of Youth," Jenny Slater also discusses the political implications of normative labels by examining the "non-normativity" of youth based on her interviews with disabled adolescents. She frames adolescence as a precarious "border zone," in which individuals engage in a process of "abnormal-becoming-normal" (25). She presents the "non-normativity" of adolescence as a socially accepted, temporary condition, which youths are anticipated to outgrow; in becoming an adult, youths are expected to acquire self-discipline aligned with white, heteronormative standards of dominant culture and capitalism. I was fascinated by Slater's discussion of how ability, race, and class impact, and often limit, the individual embodiment of youthful non-normativity; non-normativity becomes a privilege for the most normal youths. In my opinion, her study and its theoretical conclusions deserved more elaboration, particularly in relation to their intersectional implications.

Similarly tracing the precarity of non-normativity, Kathy Boxall's "In Praise of Normal: Re-Reading Wolfensberger" utilizes the scholarship of Wolf Wolfensberger to illustrate normality's protective capacities against "penalties of difference" (261). By examining the sociopolitical implications of disability labels, Boxall emphasizes the violence that "difference" can invoke and how normative alignment may offer protection; she reframes normality as denoting human similarity. Boxall does not wish to disregard difference, but rather asks readers to recognize the "devastating impact" difference can have on individuals and to "balance" (277) attention to human commonality and difference. I found this claim to be inaccurate, because, as many disability scholars have noted, inclusion requires the prioritization of difference; as demonstrated by the problematic application of Wolfensberger's theories by past psychiatric institutions, which Boxall discusses, the neutralization of difference can have violent implications.

Steve Graby and Anat Greenstein's "Relational Autonomy and Disability: Beyond Normative Constructs and Post-Structural Deconstructions" likewise reconceptualizes a frequently unwelcome term in disability studies: autonomy. Envisioning autonomy no longer as synonymous with "independence," they argue that "relations of care and attachment…are a necessary condition for autonomy" (228). They propose that autonomy instead designate "someone who has taken control of their life and is choosing how that life is led" (231). Rejecting the normative understanding of autonomy as "rational" and "self-sufficient" (251), they utilize concepts like "imagining otherwise" to demonstrate the way in which self-control relies upon, and is empowered by, relational collaboration. This piece transformed my own negative perceptions of autonomy by demonstrating the relational preconditions necessary for one to access it.

The collection also deconstructs normative discourse to reveal its gatekeeping functions in institutions. Utilizing discourse analysis in her "Deconstructing the 'Normal' Student: A Discourse Analysis of 'Prospective Student Materials' Across Three Institutions," Lucia Radcliffe examines the language used by three higher education institutions to determine how they discursively construct normal and abnormal prospective students. She found that the normal student was framed as homogenously standard; institutional discourse anticipated rigidly identical qualities, financial capacities, experiences, and goals for "normal" students. Documents indicated that students outside these norms would be individually managed upon admission. I appreciated Radcliffe's theoretical findings and her methodological explanation, particularly as methods were not fully developed in many other chapters. In "Is this Inclusion? Teachers Resisting Normalcy Within the Classroom," Sue Chantler also discusses how normative discourse impacts education by analyzing the interplay between educational policy and teacher instruction. Locating normalcy at the root of educational policies, Chantler analyzes the problematic practice of educational inclusion as "the identification and labeling of 'individual pathology'" (75). She recommends that teachers utilize their diverse experiences in helping to develop educational policies that celebrate diversity. While Chantler's theoretical discussion is insightful, I would have appreciated more practical advice regarding teachers' navigation and participation in local legislation, particularly when employed by institutions with neoliberal agendas. As an instructor, I also would have valued concrete recommendations for inclusive classroom practices.

Jess Bradley and Greta Williams-Shultz also analyze institutional labels in "People of Substance: Disability, Problematic Drug Use and Normalcy," which compares the discourse used to portray the "problematic drug user and the disabled person" in "rehabilitation, institutionalization, stigma, and psychiatrisation" (175); through data gathered from interviews with drug users and disabled drug users, they demonstrate the sociopolitical labeling of "problematic" drug user as intersectionally dependent on one's "disability, class, race, and the legal status of the drugs in question" (177). They explain that disabled individuals and drug users frequently are maligned by society because they resist "rational" norms (178). They therefore call for collaborative research between drug user studies and disability studies. While the article successfully elucidates the sociopolitical impact of class and race in moral judgments regarding disability and drug use, included interviews could have more directly addressed these intersectional complexities.

Recognizing the impact of medical labels on access to care, Cassandra A. Ogden's "Armless Dreams or Carnal Practices? Transableism and the Legitimisation of the Ideal Body" explores "transableism," in which one is "born without impairment" and experiences a "bodily reality…incongruent with their sense of identity;" they "see[k] to obtain or feign an impairment to realign their sense of identity with their body" (144). As Ogden explains, transableism defies what Robert McRuer refers to as a "compulsory able-bodiedness" pervasive in Western society; it resists the biomedical push for "normalcy" by cripping medical notions of health through its desire for disability. This article provides an insightful and accessible introduction to transableism; however, the piece would benefit from further discussion on intersectionality, particularly in relation to medical privilege and access, and the inclusion of testimonies by those identifying as transable. Naomi Lawson Jacobs's "The Cult of Health and Wholeness: Normalcy and the Charismatic Christian Healing Movement" likewise challenges normative notions of health by examining what she refers to as "a cult of health and wholeness" in the Christian church. As Jacobs explains, the church often positions health as "divinely ordained" (211), decontextualizing it from its sociocultural foundations. She discusses how the church frequently objectifies those with disabilities, using them to remind churchgoers of the precarious human condition and "need for redemption" (215). Jacobs joins other disability theologians in calling for a "reimagined concept of wholeness and healing" based in "liberation of embodiment and justice for all kinds of bodies" (218). She also urges theologians and disability scholars collaboratively to pursue this underdeveloped research area.

Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: Precarious Positions provides insight into the wide-ranging impacts of normative discourse in the lives of those with disabilities. It offers an accessible foundation for those interested in disability studies and provides diverse avenues for scholarly investigation. Because of its topical breadth, the collection sometimes sacrifices depth in content and methodological explanation. Many contributions also would have benefitted from including more personal, embodied accounts of topics discussed. Yet, the text's succinct and interdisciplinary nature makes it accessible to the general public. I would recommend this text to those who would like to expand their knowledge of disability theory, rather than to those seeking practical applications through institutional action and social activism. Based on its interdisciplinarity and accessibility, this text would function well in an undergraduate or graduate course to offer students insight into the theoretical range of disability studies and locations for future research.

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