Becoming En-wheeled: Re-embodiment as a wheelchair user after Spinal Cord Injury (Papadimitriou) 2008b
This paper discusses the creative process of re-embodiment experienced by physically disabled adults who become wheelchair users. Interviews and observational data of adults (rehabilitation patients and persons living in the community) who use wheelchairs show how they re-define, re-examine or modify past experiences, abilities, life-styles and habits in their efforts toward re-embodiment. The aim of this paper is to document the process of learning to use a wheelchair and making it a part of one's embodied existence. The paper shows that this process involves the negotiation of past and new habits, abilities and ways of doing. It argues against conceptualizing disability as an all-encompassing state of being. Rather the competence and abilities required to achieve wheelchair embodiment are analyzed as a situated accomplishment with social and political consequences.
Keywords: Wheelchair use; embodiment; qualitative sociology; spinal cord injury.
Disability and Society 23 (7): 691-704.