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Meaning in Our BodiesSensory Experience as Constructive Theological Imagination$
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Heike Peckruhn

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190280925

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190280925.001.0001

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Language and Perception of Normalcy

Language and Perception of Normalcy

(p.175) Chapter Five Language and Perception of Normalcy
Meaning in Our Bodies

Heike Peckruhn

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 connects language, bodily experience, perception, and meaning-making via an exploration of normalcy. Disability and perceptions of bodily difference show how language interrelates to bodily experiences, supporting and challenging socio-cultural habits of perceiving what is normal, health, and human. It points out that language is a bodily and social experience that expresses and shapes our bodily perceptual orientation in the world. To learn a different language is to learn of different bodily social habits, of different ways of perceiving and extending into the world. To be forced to give up a native language, or operate dominantly in a colonizing language, is to be forced to change one’s being in the world, to be dominated by another group’s tacit knowledges which may not resonate with my own.

Keywords:   disability, language, phenomenology, colonialism, Maurice Merlau-Ponty, Lennard Davis

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