Reconciling the ‘Private’ and ‘Public’: disabled young people’s experiences of everyday embodied citizenship

Wiseman, Phillippa Janet Grace (2014) Reconciling the ‘Private’ and ‘Public’: disabled young people’s experiences of everyday embodied citizenship. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The body is the fleshy substance of citizenship. However, analyses of the body and of citizenship have remained largely disconnected, with limited intersection between the two. Traditionally, citizenship has been associated with the ‘public’ sphere and the body with the ‘private’ sphere resulting in the distancing of the body from citizenship in popular and scholarly discourses. This demarcation has resulted in the exclusion of particular groups of people from being able to achieve full citizenship based on corporeal difference. This thesis argues that the separation of the ‘public’ and ‘private’ spheres perpetuates the marginalisation of disabled people. Through developing the concept of embodied citizenship, this thesis offers a useful lens through which to view the experiences of disabled young people’s everyday lives and to bring into focus the comingling of the ‘private’ and public’ spheres.

Using data gathered from interviews with 18 disabled young people, with physical impairments, in Scotland, it explores the ways in which disabled young people negotiate their everyday lives. Thematic analysis of the data identified that participants’ inclusion and participation in the ‘public’ sphere were explicitly bound to their experiences of the ‘private’ sphere. Participants’ greatest feelings of exclusion were felt around everyday experiences often associated with the ‘private’ sphere such as intimate relationships, sexuality and toileting. Exclusion from these purportedly ‘private’ areas of social life resulted in negative impacts for participants’ sense of self and psycho-emotional wellbeing, impacting on their engagement with the ‘public’ sphere, and thus their sense of full citizenship.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Disability, embodiment, youth, embodied citizenship, 'Private' and 'Public'
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Watson, Professor Nicholas and Pickering, Dr. Lucy
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Mrs Phillippa Wiseman
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5479
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2014 12:28
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2018 15:51

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