Care, Disability, and Violence: Theorizing Complex Dependency in Eva Kittay and Judith Butler

Hypatia 30 (1):217-233 (2015)

How do we theorize the experiences of caregivers abused by their children with autism without intensifying stigma toward disability? Eva Kittay emphasizes examples of extreme vulnerability to overturn myths of independence, but she ignores the possibility that dependents with disabilities may be vulnerable and aggressive. Instead, her work over-emphasizes caregivers' capabilities and the constancy of disabled dependents' vulnerability. I turn to Judith Butler's ethics and her conception of the self as opaque to rethink care amid conflict. Person-centered planning approaches, pioneered by disability rights activists, merge Butler's analysis of opacity with Kittay's work on embodied care, while also inviting a broader network of people to both interpret needs and change communities. By expanding our conceptions of dependency, feminist disability studies can continue the aim of both Kittay and Butler: to humanize unintelligible lives.
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12130
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Undoing Gender.J. Butler - 2004 - Routledge.
Giving an Account of Oneself.Judith Butler - 2005 - Fordham University Press.
“Ideal Theory” as Ideology.Charles W. Mills - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):165-184.

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DEPENDENCY.Eva Kittay - forthcoming - In Rachel Adams (ed.), KEYWORDS IN DISABILITY STUDIES. NYU PRESS.
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What Do Care Recipients Owe Their Caregivers?: Commentary on Eva Feder Kittay's "Caring for the Long Haul". Levine - 2013 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 6 (2):89-93.


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