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Imagining otherwise : Deleuze, disability & Second Life

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by A Hickey-Moody, Denise WoodDenise Wood
This paper contends that disability should be appreciated as a unique articulation of difference: as a dividuation of the life-force that constitutes all human beings. The paper takes up a Deleuzean ontology, in which people are specific modifications of difference and, as such, ‘disability’ per se cannot be conceived as located in a single body or subjectivity. Rather, disability needs to be understood as a context-specific articulation of omnipresent difference. In advancing this argument, the paper develops an original theoretical inquiry into the politics of disability and Second Life. The work undertaken here is twofold. Firstly, the authors undertake a case study of a discussion about disability and accessibility that occurred on a member blog hosted on an information technology website and also a ‘listserv’ email post to a Second Lifeinterest group. Secondly, a Deleuzian ontology is taken up as a means for thinking outside the political paradox demonstrated by the vernacular discussion about disability and accessibility that occurred on the member blog and listserv. The Deleuzian perspective put forward here offers a starkly contrasted way of thinking ‘otherwise’, in which no bodies are more ‘able’ than others, rather, all bodies are different and context produces ‘disability’. Here, difference is seen as inherently valuable and as being expressed in bodies in diverse ways. Through a creative approach to re-imagining the case study examples, the authors explore what the world of Second Life might look like from a Deleuzian perspective.


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Wellington, New Zealand


Massey University

Place of Publication

Wellington, NZ

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Monash University; TBA Research Institute; University of South Australia;

Era Eligible

  • No

Name of Conference

Australian and New Zealand Communication Association. Conference