Oscar Pistorius and the melancholy of intersectionality

Swartz, Leslie (2013-09)

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

The original publication is available at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cdso20/current#.UkWD6X9L5nU

Article

The alleged shooting by Paralympian and Olympian athlete Oscar Pistorius of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has led to strong reactions worldwide. Scholars in the field of disability studies have expressed shock and disappointment in response both to the death itself and to its implications for the representation of disability. In South Africa in the wake of the death of Ms Steenkamp, much has been made both by critics of Pistorius and by his defenders about his status as a white South African man, but little has been said about disability issues. This silence in South Africa about disability as a possible identity factor in this case draws attention to the extent to which disability questions remain profoundly raced and gendered, and influenced by the colonial and apartheid past. The tragic alleged shooting by Oscar Pistorius draws attention back to how important intersectionality is to understanding disability in South Africa and other unequal societies.

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