Little Stephen: infantilism, projection and naturalism in the construction of mental disablement

Evans, Jessica (1992). Little Stephen: infantilism, projection and naturalism in the construction of mental disablement. In: Hevey, David ed. The Creatures Time Forgot: Photography and Disability Imagery. London: Routledge, pp. 134–141.

Abstract

There are many ways of describing my brother. That he has Down's Syndrome is one fact about him and does not, to my mind, tell you very much. Sometimes I objectify him, by seeing him as someone "with Down's Syndrome", someone who is "different". On the other hand, I just relate to him as my brother; I feel close to him, we have shared experiences and we have the same looks. But even as I write about him as an individual, I am doing so in the context of this book which brings us back to focusing on him as a member of a particular category. Does the reductive process begin as soon as I single him out as the subject of my text? Down's Syndrome is merely one fact about my brother and does not in any sense define his whole person.

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