In this essay, I autoethnographically map my experience of pursuing and then denouncing the “religion” of merit into which I was indoctrinated in my white, second-generation immigrant household. I argue that my disabled body is marked as visible through medical discourse that originated within, and is in turn perpetuated by, white patriarchal discourse. This visibility interrupts the power of white invisibility, allowing a means of understanding how white normalness perpetuates a system of merit that rejects all visible, abnormal bodies while offering an unsuccessful pursuit of meritorious invisibility. The normal and invisible system of merit, when exposed, visible, and rejected, can be dismantled.
And Then I Stopped Trying to Fit: A Tale of a White Visible/Disabled Scholar's Rejection of the Religion of Merit
Julie-Ann Scott is Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I would like to thank Devika Chawla and the anonymous reviewers for their guidance through the revisions of this essay. Correspondence to: Julie-Ann Scott, Department of Communication Studies, Leutze Hall #226, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Julie-Ann Scott; And Then I Stopped Trying to Fit: A Tale of a White Visible/Disabled Scholar's Rejection of the Religion of Merit. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 March 2020; 9 (1): 25–32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2020.9.1.25
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