© 2017

Disabling Domesticity

  • Michael Rembis

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Michael Rembis
    Pages 1-23
  3. Home

  4. Care

  5. Family

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 349-355

About this book


Bringing together a range of authors from the multidisciplinary field of disability studies, this book uses disability and the experiences of disabled people living in the United States and Canada to explore and analyze dynamic sites of human interaction in both historical and contemporary contexts to provide readers with new ways of envisioning home, care, and family. Contributors to Disabling Domesticity focus on the varied domestic sites where intimate – and interdependent – human relations are formed and maintained.  Analyzing domesticity through the lens of disability forces readers to think in new ways about family and household forms, care work, an ethic of care, reproductive labor, gendered and generational conflicts and cooperation, ageing, dependence, and local and global economies and political systems, in part by bringing the notion of interdependence, which undergirds all of the chapters in this book, into the foreground.


aging anthropology city cultural anthropology culture feminism gender medicine philosophy social science sociology

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Rembis
    • 1
  1. 1.University at Buffalo, SUNYBuffaloUSA

About the editors

Michael Rembis is Director of the Center for Disability Studies and Associate Professor of History at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), USA. He has authored or edited many books, articles, and book chapters, including: Defining Deviance: Sex, Science, and Delinquent Girls, 1890-1960 (2011); Disability Histories co-edited with Susan Burch (2014); and The Oxford Handbook of Disability History co-edited with Kim Nielsen and Catherine Kudlick (forthcoming).

Bibliographic information


“This superb collection of essays brings readers to the threshold of multiple sites of disability oppression and resistance and promises to destabilize our taken for granted relations to family, home, and community while nurturing new possibilities of belonging.  Throughout Disabling Domesticity, readers will experience a pedagogy of relationality where we are invited to reconsider what sort of lives with disability we have created together.” (Tanya Titchkosky, Professor of Social Justice Education, OISE of the University of Toronto, Canada, and the author of “The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning and Reading and Writing Disability Differently: The Texured Life of Embodiment and Disability, Self and Society”)

<“This important book shifts disability studies in a needed direction: it examines the understudied and often maligned “private” domestic spaces and interactions.  Most significant, Disabling Domesticity shows why the disability rights movement needs to re-think the primacy of “independence” and to recognize and value interdependence.  Filled with illuminating and intimate accounts and critical analysis.” (Leslie J. Reagan, Professor of History, Medicine, Law, Gender, and Women's Studies University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, USA, and the author of “Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in America”)

This book accomplishes all that an anthology should and more, bringing together diverse voices and perspectives to offer fresh insights with each chapter. The fascinating range of topics and fields, each delivering compelling arguments, together form a unique and important pathway to reformulating our ideas of family, home, and domesticity in light of disability studies. The kitchen table, the American dream home, and motherhood are among the icons that emerge with new meaning and potential as we see the power of disability theory to deconstruct and re-imagine our social world.”(Allison C. Carey, Professor of Sociology and Disability Studies at Shippensburg University, USA, and the author of “On the Margins of Citizenship: Intellectual Disability and Civil Rights in 20th Century America”)

“From the design of thresholds to the shape of kinship, the essays in this volume bring critical disability studies to bodies, ideas, and spaces marked ‘private.’ ‘The home’ has never been a comfortable place for bodyminds disabled by narrowly normative standards and narrowly built doors – and the binary public/private has put us in our place for far too long. These essays energetically analyze the workings of that logic, and work to envision futures built along different lines.”(Christina Crosby, Professor of English and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan University, USA, and the author of “A Body, Undone: Living on After Great Pain”)