UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An autoethnographic analysis of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability intersecting in the construction and categorization of subject positions in a personal narrative Hendricks, Ryan


Over the last century, critical social theorists have contested the naturalization and normalization of birth, life, illness, and death. Critical social theorists have suggested that these biological processes deeply entwine with social, political, and economic systems of thought. In my dissertation, I explored my experiences of disability in relation to the discursive frameworks of white supremacy, patriarchal masculinity, neoliberalism, heterosexism and disability. To facilitate this exploration, I brought together discourse analysis, evocative autoethnography, and intracategorical analysis. Emerging from this exploration, I suggested that the normative discursive frameworks of white supremacy, patriarchal masculinity, neoliberalism, heterosexism, and disability construct discourses that dispossess Indigenous peoples, people of colour, women, disabled people, and LGBTQ subject positions of their claims of belonging. Simultaneously, these discursive frameworks produce discourses that assimilate dispossessed subject positions into alternative categories of interest and investment belonging at the fringe of neoliberal society. In this discursive space, normative discursive frameworks construct a hierarchy of belonging. Through diffuse speech acts that produce ‘blended spaces’, normative discursive frameworks categorize subject positions along an axis of oppression and privilege. Through sychronic, spatial, hierarchical relationships, normative discursive frameworks make claims over the conditions necessary to sustain human life. This is life enabled by politics.

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