Journal of Medical Humanities 38 (1):39-50 (2017)

Independence was a core value of the movement for disability rights. People with disabilities did not have to be dependent, advocates claimed; they were robbed of autonomy by poverty, social prejudice, and architectural barriers. Recently, critics have noted that the emphasis on independence equates personhood with autonomy, reason, and self-awareness, thereby excluding those who are incapable of self-determination. The stigma of dependency is communicated to caregivers whose work is devalued and undercompensated. These values are echoed in the life writing of people with disabilities, which tends to present a singular narrative voice, even when the author requires assistance in the physical or intellectual work of composition. The 1979 Mexican memoir-testimonio Gaby Brimmer, collaboratively authored by the acclaimed journalist Elena Poniatowska, Brimmer, her mother, and her paid caregiver is a notable exception. Consisting of interwoven dialogue among its three informants, Gaby Brimmer enacts dependency at the level of form, while exploring the challenges and opportunities of interdependence in societies that devalue the giving and receiving of care.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10912-016-9421-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 57,138
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

Portraiture.Maurice Brown & Richard Brilliant - 1994 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 28 (2):111.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

DEPENDENCY.Eva Kittay - forthcoming - In Rachel Adams (ed.), KEYWORDS IN DISABILITY STUDIES. NYU PRESS.
Disability, Dependency and Indebtedness?John Vorhaus - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 41 (1):29–44.
Philosophical Autobiography.Julian Baggini - 2002 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):295 – 312.
Derrida and Autobiography.Robert Smith - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
Disability and Well-Being: Appreciating the Complications.Stephen M. Campbell & Joseph A. Stramondo - 2016 - American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine 16 (1):35-37.
Loves Labor Revisited.Eva Kittay - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (3):237-250.
History of Human Ideas as Autobiography.Marco Andreacchio - forthcoming - Historia Philosophica.


Added to PP index

Total views
17 ( #589,641 of 2,411,684 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #346,414 of 2,411,684 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes