The Fantasy of Disability: Images of Loss in Popular Culture, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Fantasy of Disability

Images of Loss in Popular Culture, 1st Edition

By Jeffrey Preston


170 pages

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What are the unconscious fantasies circulating in representations of disability? What role do these fantasies play in defining the condition of disability? What can these fantasies teach us about human vulnerability writ large?

The Fantasy of Disability explores how popular culture texts, such as Degrassi: The Next Generation and Glee, fantasize about what life with a physical disability 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. Rather than merely engaging with how disability is represented, though, this text investigates how representations of disability reveal their nondisabled producers to be perpetually anxious subjects, doomed to fear not just the disabled subject but the very reality of disability lurking within.

Situated at the nexus of disability studies, media studies and psychology, this text presents an innovative way of analyzing representations of disability in popular culture, inverting the psychoanalytic gaze back upon the nondisabled to investigate how disability can become a lens through which to interrogate the normate subject.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Considering the Literature

3. Corporeal Casualties: Vietnam War Film and the Fantasy of Disability

4. Fantasizing Disablement in Degrassi: The Next Generation

5. Dream On: Fantasies of (dis)ability in Glee

6. Conclusion

About the Author

Jeffrey Preston is a professor in the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business at Fanshawe College in Canada.

About the Series

Interdisciplinary Disability Studies

Disability studies has made great strides in exploring power and the body. This series extends the interdisciplinary dialogue between disability studies and other fields by asking how disability studies can influence a particular field. It will show how a deep engagement with disability studies changes our understanding of the following fields: sociology, literary studies, gender studies, bioethics, social work, law, education, or history. This ground-breaking series identifies both the practical and theoretical implications of such an interdisciplinary dialogue and challenges people in disability studies as well as other disciplinary fields to critically reflect on their professional praxis in terms of theory, practice, and methods.

Series editor: Mark Sherry, The University of Toledo, USA

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / People with Disabilities