Vulnerable Normality: Popular Neuroimaging and the Discursive Logic of the (Dis)able(d) Brain

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Vulnerable Normality: Popular Neuroimaging and the Discursive Logic of the (Dis)able(d) Brain

AU - Hansson, Kristofer

AU - Suneson, Ellen

PY - 2018/4/20

Y1 - 2018/4/20

N2 - The aim of this article is to analyse popular neuroimaging of (dis)able(d) brains as a cultural phenomenon, as well as to explore how there has been, during the last decades, a subtle but important change in the way “normal” brains are depicted in popular science. Popular neuroimaging is introduced and used as an empirical basis to analyse what Fiona Kumari Campbell sees as a critique against ableism. e empirical material consists of two British popular science documentaries (both produced by the BBC) on the topic of the brain: Human Brain (1983), and Brain Story (2004). e article argues that the position of normality and able-bodiedness has changed as the development of brain scanning techniques has emerged. In particular, there seems to have been a change in how the brain is visualized and talked about. New frameworks for understanding normality, disability and vulnerability have appeared. Furthermore, we claim that this shi needs to be studied from a theoretical perspective that analyses the discursive logic of the (dis)able(d) brain where an indistinctness transpires and creates a form of vulnerable normality.

AB - The aim of this article is to analyse popular neuroimaging of (dis)able(d) brains as a cultural phenomenon, as well as to explore how there has been, during the last decades, a subtle but important change in the way “normal” brains are depicted in popular science. Popular neuroimaging is introduced and used as an empirical basis to analyse what Fiona Kumari Campbell sees as a critique against ableism. e empirical material consists of two British popular science documentaries (both produced by the BBC) on the topic of the brain: Human Brain (1983), and Brain Story (2004). e article argues that the position of normality and able-bodiedness has changed as the development of brain scanning techniques has emerged. In particular, there seems to have been a change in how the brain is visualized and talked about. New frameworks for understanding normality, disability and vulnerability have appeared. Furthermore, we claim that this shi needs to be studied from a theoretical perspective that analyses the discursive logic of the (dis)able(d) brain where an indistinctness transpires and creates a form of vulnerable normality.

KW - ableism

KW - brain

KW - (dis)able(d)

KW - indistinctness

KW - neuroscience

KW - popular neuroimaging

KW - popular science

KW - vulnerable normality

KW - Ableism

KW - brain

KW - (dis)able(d)

KW - indistinctness

KW - neuroscience

KW - popular neuroimaging

KW - popular science

KW - vulnerable normality

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 49

EP - 64

JO - Culture Unbound

T2 - Culture Unbound

JF - Culture Unbound

SN - 2000-1525

IS - 1

ER -