Sociologický časopis
Czech sociological review

VYDÁVÁ SOCIOLOGICKÝ ÚSTAV AV ČR, v.v.i.

← Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 5/2019

Michal Synek, Dana Hradcová, Radek Carboch, Dita Jahodová:
The Dis/ability Coordinates of the Critical Gesture and Matters of Care [587]

Synek, Michal, Dana Hradcová, Radek Carboch, Dita Jahodová. 2019. „Kritické gesto a záležitosti péče v souřadnicích ne/způsobilosti.“ Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 55 (5): 587-614, https://doi.org/10.13060/00380288.2019.55.5.478

Critique is one of the social sciences’ most respectable tasks, especially when its aim is to emancipate people oppressed for their otherness. However, there is also a critique of critique as a disabling tool, replacing the obvious actors revealed as ‘fictitious’ with synthetic objects that the critic herself deems more ‘factual’. This article understands the critical gesture as a pragmatic resource for re-organising the field of dis/abilities. In the first part of the article, we make three critical gestures together with José, a person identified as mentally ill. A paranoid vision of a secret conspiracy, a naturalising concept of disease, and the critique of stigma all seek to radically redraw the dis/ability coordinates, but their emancipatory potential is thwarted by the complex interconnectedness of their objects. José’s recovery thus ultimately hinges on a delicate balancing act combining critique and composing. In this sense, his effort resembles the careful treading of lay and professional critics in the last part of our text, in which we try to solve problems of living with dementia together with the Hanuš family. While the critical gesture has an essential role to play here as well, close ethnographic encounters are rather about jointly articulating the critical matters of care, wherein the problematic agencies of both obvious and not-so-obvious actors are acknowledged.

Keywords: critical gesture, dis/ability, impairment, stigma, care

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