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Fantasy of Disability : Images of loss in popular culture (Hardcover) (Jeffrey Preston)
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The fantasy of disability is a net of ideas, created by no single individual but perpetuated and circulated between subjects and which seeks to contain the danger of limitation, to subject it to a set of societal preconceived notions about what it means to be disabled and how a person is expected to act and react to the diagnosis of disablement.
The fantasy of disability provides those without disability with an imaginary sense of what a life of disablement must be like, while at the same time exerting tremendous pressure on disabled individuals to conform their identity and behaviour to fit within the margins of these societally perpetuated archetypes. This book explores where the creation and enforcement of fantasies of disability intersect, specifically when dealing with physical disability. Stories about disability often posit that those with disabilities are either heroes or villains: they live to either heroically rise above their limitations or succumb to them to become evil. These stories are in response to the threat of disablement which is intimately tied to repressed fears of castration. These representations, then, do not just paint disability as being a life of struggle and sadness, but go on to show how the normate subject is a perpetually anxious subject, doomed to fear not just the disabled subject but the very reality of disability lurking within.