Cripping the new normal: Making disability count

Faye Ginsburg, Rayna Rapp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We have been conducting research in New York City across a variety of sites where the presence of disability is dramatically increasing and transforming consciousness regarding this form of human variation in locations as diverse as schools, medical laboratories, film festivals, homes and religious institutions. We have learned how families form new kinship imaginaries around the fact of disability and how disability publics emerge through a variety of media forms and art activists. This article also addresses questions of demographics and futurity that we have encountered in our work. The number of disabled citizens, currently estimated at almost 20% of the USA population, is predicted to increase significantly over the next decade, both as an expanding portion of the population and a growing absolute number. Given the inevitable increase in disability across the life cycle, we highlight that what some disability scholars/activists call “accessible futures” will remain under constant negotiation. At the same time, the initiatives of people with disabilities and their supporters are changing the face of both public and private culture, and most importantly, the shape of future imaginaries in which disability is understood as a central aspect of the human condition. We conclude by asking how disability publics played a role in the 2016 American Presidential election.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)179-192
    Number of pages14
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Jul 2017


    • Activism
    • Disability
    • Disability publics
    • United States

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Health Policy
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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