Love, Care and the Undisciplined Body. A critical analysis of Disability, Citizenship and Motherhood.

Ester Micalizzi


This paper aims to contribute to the recent debate on disability studies through a series of theoretical reflections on how women with physical disabilities experience their motherhood, examining the interconnections between motherhood, disability and citizenship which expand the definition of “caring” into intimate settings. In Italy, there is little research on how disabled women live the experience of becoming and being mothers and the impact of ableism and sexism on motherhood because of toxic discourses and stereotyped representations that imagine motherhood and disability as incongruous. It is essential to incorporate new perspectives that observe the ways in which non-normative bodies inhabit and expand the relationships of love, care and intimacy (Mapelli 2018). Disabled women offer the opportunity to attribute new meanings to intimate justice (McClelland 2014) and to break down the oppressive system that produces disabilities and marginalises disabled bodies.

Keywords: care, disability, ableism, motherhood, citizenship.

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