Embodied Practices of Prosthesis

Maria Bee Christensen-Strynø, Camilla Bruun Eriksen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

While the prosthesis is often thought of as a technology or an artefact used to ‘fix’ or make ‘whole’ a disabled body, it has also become an important figuration and metaphor for thinking about disabled embodiment as an emblematic manifestation of bodily difference and mobility. Furthermore, the ambiguity and broadness of prosthesis as an object and a concept, as well as its potential as a theoretical and analytical thinking tool, show up in widely different areas of popular culture, art and academic scholarship. In this article, we explore the opportunities of the ways in which prosthesis might be a helpful and productive figure in relation to framing, analyzing and understanding certain healthcare-related practices that are not traditionally associated with disability. Our aim is to suggest new ways of building onto the idea of the performative value of the prosthetic figure and its logics as a continuum through which very different forms of embodied practices could be meaningfully understood and analyzed. Thus, we argue that the logic of the prosthesis can be helpful in uncovering tensions related to idealistic and dominant ideas about health and embodiment. First, we engage with the theoretical discussions from cultural studies, including critical disability studies, in which we broaden the scope of the concept of prosthesis. Second, we introduce and discuss two illustrative case examples in the form of dance therapeutic practices for people with Parkinson’s disease and group therapeutic practices in male-friendly spaces. In doing so, we seek to raise new questions about the ongoing cultivation of bodily and health-related interventions through the lens of the prosthetic spectrum, which we have labelled embodied practices of prosthesis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalKvinder, Køn & Forskning
Volume31
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
ISSN0907-6182
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Prosthesis
  • embodied practices
  • disability
  • therapeutic and healthcare-related interventions

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