Breaking the silence: Disability and sexuality in contemporary Bulgaria

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This paper explores the silence surrounding disabled people’s sexuality in contemporary, postsocialist Bulgaria. The related desexualisation of disabled people is regarded as an instance of disablism that is sustained through medicalisation, patriarchal stereotypes and negative understandings of the bodily difference of ‘impairment’. The analysis draws on disability studies and phenomenology in order to elicit the workings of these mechanisms in everyday discourse as represented by an autobiographical essay and an internet discussion. A number of strategies for challenging disablist desexualisation are also highlighted whose point of departure is breaking the silence on the topic of disabled people’s sexuality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDisability in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, Policy and Everyday Life
EditorsMichael Rasell, Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781315866932
ISBN (Print) 9780415610964
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameBASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies


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