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Title: At the intersection of disability and masculinity: Exploring gender and bodily difference in India
Authors: Staples, J
Keywords: Disability;Masculinity;Gender;Identity
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 17(3), 545 - 562, 2011
Abstract: Despite a conventional view that bodily impairments are necessarily interpreted as emasculating and negative, this article – drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with men affected by leprosy and by cerebral palsy (CP) in India – offers a more nuanced account of how disabled men negotiate their gendered identities. Different kinds of impairments have very specific, context-defined, meanings that, in turn, have different implications for how gender and disability might intersect. Rather than diminishing masculinity in all instances – some bodily differences, as the article demonstrates, might even be enacted as hyper-masculine – impairments are shown rather to reshape understandings of the masculine in sometimes unexpected ways. And while my informants were constrained both by ableist norms and by the biological limitations of their own bodies, ambivalence towards certain forms of masculinity also afforded them space to perform their identities more creatively, sometimes to potentially positive effect.
Description: This is the accepted version of the following article: STAPLES, J. (2011), At the intersection of disability and masculinity: exploring gender and bodily difference in India. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 17: 545–562. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2011.01706.x, which has been published in final form at
ISSN: 1359-0987
Appears in Collections:Anthropology
Dept of Social and Political Sciences Research Papers

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