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Constructing the (M)other

Narratives of Disability, Motherhood, and the Politics of «Normal»


Edited By Priya Lalvani

Constructing the (M)other is a collection of personal narratives about motherhood in the context of a society in which disability holds a stigmatized position. From multiple vantage points, these autoethnographies reveal how ableist beliefs about disability are institutionally upheld and reified. Collectively they seek to call attention to a patriarchal surveillance of mothering, challenge the trope of the good mother, and dismantle the constructed hierarchy of acceptable children. The stories contained in this volume are counter-narratives of resistance—they are the devices through which mothers push back. Rejecting notions of the otherness of their children, in these essays, mothers negotiate their identities and claim access to the category of normative motherhood. Readers are likely to experience dissonance, have their assumptions about disability challenged, and find their parameters of normalcy transformed.

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Tammy Bachrach is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in Southern California. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Disability Studies from Chapman University. Prior to assuming her position at APU, Tammy was a general and special educator for 18 years, working with both primary and secondary students with disabilities. Tammy grew up in the disability community as the daughter and sister of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Her scholarly work has focused on examining the lived experiences of children raised by parents with intellectual disabilities. In addition, she has a passion for bridging the gap between disability studies, faith communities, and inclusive faith-based schools. Her work has been published in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Justice, Spirituality & Education Journal.

Susan Baglieri began her career in education as a high school special education teacher. She is currently an Associate Professor at Montclair State University, New Jersey. She is coauthor of the book, Disability Studies and the Inclusive Classroom (Routledge, 2012 and 2017), with Arthur Shapiro. Other works appear in book chapters related to disability studies in education, as well as in the journals Harvard Educational Review, Review of Disability Studies, Teachers College Record, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Disability Studies Quarterly, Review of Disability Studies, Investigations in Mathematics Learning, and the Journal of Learning Disabilities. She has served on the board of directors of the Society for Disability Studies and on the advisory board for South Mountain Co-operative. She...

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