“Coming Out Crip” in Inclusive Education
by Nirmala Erevelles - 2011
Background/Context: The author argues that within inclusive education’s almost obsessive focus on space, there is a tendency to ignore the ideological assumptions that undergird the curricular and extracurricular practices in schools that serve to construct certain student subjectivities as deviant, disturbing, and dangerous, thereby justifying their exclusion.
Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: Sexuality is one such discourse that challenges naïve notions of inclusion. Heteronormative in its ideological content, discourses of sexuality, being both restricted and restrictive, play a critical role in defining the “normal” child, while at the same time intervening in the most personal/private space of intimacy. The pregnant teen, the lesbian gay bisexual transsexual questioning intersex (LGBTQI) young adult, and the disabled student are some examples of children and youth for whom the mere expression of their sexuality casts them as abnormal. Thus, the author examines the dominant discourses of sexuality in the school curriculum from the critical standpoint of disability studies.
Research Design: Analytic essay.
Data Collection and Analysis: The author demonstrates how discourses of sexuality rely on the ideology of the “normate” to segregate, to exclude, and to dehumanize those sexual subjects who disregard the rules of normativity.
Conclusions/Recommendations: Transformative possibilities in “coming out crip” for inclusive education are discussed.
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