, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 23–45 | Cite as

Affect, intensity, and moral assemblage in rehabilitation practice

  • Thomas AbramsEmail author
  • Jenny Setchell
  • Patricia Thille
  • Bhavnita Mistry
  • Barbara E. Gibson
Original Article


This paper uses the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari to explore how disability is organized in the clinical setting, focusing on young men with muscular dystrophies. The authors of Capitalism and Schizophrenia present a robust philosophy of affect, used in three ways. First, they allow us to trace the interaction of bodies (natural, social, material or otherwise) in the clinical space. Second, Deleuze and Guattari provide a philosophy of intensity. We use this to explore the emotional intensities surrounding progressive disability in the clinical space. Finally, we argue that affective philosophy allows us to explore spaces of morality and obligation, among patients, parents, and practitioners, alike. Each facet is grounded in ethnographic data. The paper ends looking into disability studies’ critiques of medicalization and capitalism, in relation to critical rehabilitation science. Disability studies and critical rehabilitation science are steeped in affect. There is, however, much more work to do, in tandem.


Disability Deleuze and Guattari Affect Morality Assemblage Rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Abrams
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jenny Setchell
    • 2
    • 3
  • Patricia Thille
    • 3
  • Bhavnita Mistry
    • 3
  • Barbara E. Gibson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social AnthropologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.University of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  3. 3.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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