Drawing from a knowledge base encompassing such diverse disciplines as anthropology, philosophy, feminist theory, and disability theory and history, Maybee (philosophy, Lehman College, CUNY) develops a powerful discussion of the way prevailing societal beliefs shape every facet of how people organize and make sense of the world around them. Maybee's three-pronged strategy is based on embodiment—institutional, interpersonal, and individual—and she uses it in analyzing how persistent values are created and reflected in the language used to define disability, in effect “making” a construct of a person’s worth in the community. Maybee explores the interactive sociocultural and economic factors that keep people who have disabilities from fully engaging with their milieus. She suggests, rightly, that to achieve equality for people with disabilities, change must be institutional and structural to be effective and “unmake” disability. Maybee is a skilled writer and lays out logical arguments to facilitate change. She has extensive experience as a mother of a child who became disabled because of a brain aneurysm. The narrative is easy to follow, and Maybee provides succinct outlines reinforcing her points.
Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.
— Choice Reviews
Making and Unmaking Disability: The Three-Body Approach dissects disability and its social construction through the three dimensions of embodiment: the personal, interpersonal, and institutional body.... Those interested in teaching special education—from elementary education to higher education—would find this informative.— Communication Booknotes Quarterly
Informed by anthropology, philosophy, feminist theory, disability theory, and history, Julie E. Maybee provides a sweeping overview of many barriers to equity and community participation faced by people with disabilities in American society. This book is a great primer on different ways to look at disability.
— Jennifer C. Sarrett, lecturer, Emory University
A fresh and insightful approach to analyzing the complex routes through which the phenomenon of disability is generated. Maybee’s theoretically and empirically wide-ranging account moves the discussion of disability and embodiment to a new level.
— Jackie Leach Scully, director, Disability Innovation Institute, University of New South Wales
An important contribution to the growing literature on philosophy and disability. Moving fluently between philosophy, the social sciences, and history, it makes a powerful case that our judgments, perceptions, and even experiences of disability have been pervasively shaped by political, economic, social, and cultural forces.
— David Wasserman, Clinical Center Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health