Cite: Hammer, Blind Women’s Appearance Management

Hammer, Gili. “Blind Women’s Appearance Management. Negotiating Normalcy between Discipline and Pleasure.” Gender & Society 26.3 (2012): 406-32.

 

URL: http://gas.sagepub.com/content/26/3/406.abstract

 

Abstract

This article examines the contradictions inherent in blind women’s appearance management. Based on an anthropological analysis of interviews with 40 blind women in Israel, the article argues that while serving as a valuable tool within stigma management, appearance management operates simultaneously as a site of rigorous discipline of the body in an effort to comply with feminine visual norms, and as a vehicle for the expression and reception of sensory pleasure. It argues for the significant role of blind women’s appearance in negotiating normalcy and rejecting the normative, stigmatizing script written for them as disabled-blind-women. By studying the role of appearance in the lives of women who do not rely on sight as a central mode of perception, the article addresses the complicated position of blind women in visual culture and challenges the traditional ocular focus of the study of feminine identity and gender performance.

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