Breaking the silence: Disability and sexuality in contemporary Bulgaria

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    Abstract

    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
    Chapter7
    Pages141-164
    Number of pages24
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315866932
    ISBN (Print) 9780415610964
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Publication series

    NameBASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies
    PublisherRoutledge
    Number94

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