Disability in China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture

Disability in China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture

Sarah Dauncey - Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, UK

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Room 202, Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

Who defines what it means to be ‘disabled’ in China today? In this lecture, Sarah Dauncey looks at the construction of disabled identities specifically from the perspective of Chinese cultural epistemologies. Drawing on sociological theories of citizenship, her research reveals how traditionally accepted notions of personhood are often fundamentally challenged through encounters and interactions with understandings of disability and impairment. She provides engaging examples of the ways in which representations and narratives of disability negotiate the identity of their subject(s) in relation to dominant discourses, where collective social, political and cultural understandings of what it means to live a ‘productive’ disabled life are both imbued and contested. Her findings offer new evidence as to the importance of intersectional accounts of disabled citizenship in revealing the complex and shifting power relationships between disabled individuals and/or groups and the state in any particular country or specific cultural context.

Sarah Dauncey is Associate Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham, UK. Trained in classical and contemporary Chinese language, literature and social history, and with a PhD in late-Ming women’s culture from the University of Durham, Dr. Dauncey has published extensively on gender, culture and identity in pre-modern and contemporary China. Most recently, she has pioneered a new field relating to disability in modern Chinese culture. The results of this project have resulted in numerous articles and book chapters, as well as forthcoming monograph Disability in China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture (Cambridge University Press).