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A brave new world? Neo-eugenics and its challenge to difference

Stehlik, D.,

Academic Literature


This article uses the metaphors of segregation and surveillance of women with disabilities historically, establishing links between current practices in genetics and past experiences. The article argues for a “history of the present” through an appreciation of the many discursive narratives of the past. From recently completed research focusing on the lifelong caring undertaken by Western Australian parents of their children with intellectual disabilities, the genealogy of three influential discursive propositions of the early and mid-20th century are identified: eugenics, institutionalisation, and motherhood. By their powerful present-day influence, such discourses affect the lives of women with disabilities, thus underpinning the inherent institutionalised violence of their day-to-day experience.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Violence Against Women

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Community and civic participation, Safety and security

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