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Childhood disability and parental moral responsibility in northern Vietnam: Towards ethnographies of intercorporeality

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This article explores the roles played by parents living in Hanoi, Vietnam, in shaping the subjectivities of children who are categorized as physically or intellectually impaired. In an effort to comprehend disability in terms of an active and embodied engagement with the world, I employ a phenomenologically inspired 'intercorporeal' perspective as a conceptual alternative to 'medical' and 'social' models of disability. Through this approach I show how, in northern Vietnam, disability in children brings into question the moral integrity of their parents and how this compels parents to define their children's subjectivities in ways that diminish their personhood. The analysis identifies Buddhist notions of karma, everyday ethics of reciprocity, and party-state discourses of productivity as particularly important forces structuring such social responses to human impairment.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Vol/bind14
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)825-842
Antal sider18
ISSN1359-0987
StatusUdgivet - 2008

ID: 9353442