Opening Research to Intensities: Rethinking Disability Research with Deleuze and Guattari

This paper begins by illustrating how the social model of disability currently dominant in emancipatory disability research projects a reality ‘out there’. Drawing on John Law's (2004) writing on how statements are turned into taken-for-granted assumptions, we argue that the model of research exemplified by Colin Barnes (2002) stifles rather than enables the emancipatory understanding of disability. We explore how disability research might be otherwise conceived through Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's (1988, 1994) concepts of series, layers and rhizomes. We suggest that by engaging with the intensities offered by the research, instead of standing aloof from them, the researcher can expose herself to new possibilities of understanding disability. Research is rethought as becoming through engagement with intensities rather than as interpretation of a pre-existent reality out there
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