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Haunting ImagesA Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam$
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Tine M Gammeltoft

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520278424

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520278424.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 12 April 2021

Beyond Knowledge

Beyond Knowledge

Everyday Encounters with Disability

(p.164) chapter 6 Beyond Knowledge
Haunting Images

Tine M. Gammeltoft

University of California Press

This chapter explores the processes of inquiry through which pregnant women and their relatives interpreted the diagnosis they received when a fetus was labeled abnormal. When abortion decisions were made, the chapter shows, they were based on experiential and embodied forms of knowledge of the social and economic implications of childhood disability. In a social setting where welfare provisioning is practically nonexistent, responsibility for a disabled child places enormous social and economic demands on parents. In addition to problems of care, childhood disability raises moral problems: since full personhood is held to depend on the individual's ability to contribute to the collective and take part in everyday practices of reciprocity and exchange, the personhood of disabled children can never be taken for granted. This brings parents’ personhood into question too; a defective child body, the chapter shows, places parents in a situation of deep moral vulnerability, rendering them unable to attain the full social belonging that the parenting of a nondisabled child would have granted them.

Keywords:   disability, care, diagnosis, knowledge, personhood, reciprocity, children, parenthood, vulnerability, belonging

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