Within political discourse, tropes of ability and disability are rhetorically applied in a way that stigmatizes particular individuals or groups by associating the targets of such rhetoric with preexisting normative perspectives framing able-bodiedness as valuable, and disability as undesirable. By analyzing Brenda Connors’ diagnosis of Putin as having Asperger’s syndrome, I argue the language used in her Pentagon funded report constitutes a form of dis/ableist polemical rhetoric. Incorporating Michel Foucault’s scholarship concerning biopolitics, governmentality, and madness, as well as relevant critical disability studies scholarship, I outline how an instance of polemical discourse can invoke disablist and ablest discourses for polemical rhetoric. Ultimately, I argue that dis/ableist polemical rhetoric outlines the role that categories of ability and disability play in international relations and domestic political discourse, which I suggest has important theoretical implications for political communication, critical disability studies, and Foucault scholarship.
|Commitee:||Asenas, Jennifer, Johnson, Kevin|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Communication, International Relations, Rhetoric|
|Keywords:||Disability, Foucault, International relations, Polemic, Political theory, Rhetoric|
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