The lived experience of disability

Human Studies 18 (1):9-23 (1995)
In this paper I reflect upon my personal experience of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis in order to provide a phenomenological account of the human experience of disability. In particular, I argue that the phenomenological notion of lived body provides important insights into the profound disruptions of space and time that are an integral element of changed physical capacities such as loss of mobility. In addition, phenomenology discloses the emotional dimension of physical disorder. The lived body disruption engendered by loss of mobility includes a change in the character of surrounding space, an alteration in one's taken-for-granted awareness of objects, the disruption of corporeal identity, a disturbance in one's relations with others, and a change in the character of temporal experience. The loss of upright posture is of particular significance since it not only concretely diminishes autonomy but affects the way one is treated by others. Such a change in posture is, therefore, particularly disruptive in the social world of everyday life. An understanding of the lived body disruption engendered by disability has important applications for the clinical context in devising effective therapies, as well as for the social arena in determining how best to resolve the various challenges posed by chronic disabling disorders
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF01322837
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,305
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
David A. Stone & Christina Papadimitriou (2010). Exploring Heidegger's Ecstatic Temporality in the Context of Embodied Breakdown. Schutzian Research. A Yearbook of Worldly Phenomenology and Qualitative Social Science 2:137-154.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

102 ( #44,402 of 1,932,583 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #333,233 of 1,932,583 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.