Uncertain Subjects: Shaping Disabled Women’s Lives Through Income Support Policy
This article provides a critical reading of one aspect of the “third mobilization of transinstitutionalization” (Haley & Jones, 2018), focused on how power is exercised through the B.C. government income support program (or the ambiguously-named B.C. Benefits), shaping the embodied lives of women living with chronic physical and mental impairments. I research and write as a woman living with a disabling chronic illness whose explicit focus is power: how it is enacted and what it produces in the everyday lives of women with disabling chronic conditions living on income support. I too have been the recipient of disability income support. Thus, my accounts are ‘interested.’ My writing seeks to create a disruptive reading that destabilizes common-sense notions about disabled women securing provincial income support benefits, in particular in British Columbia (B.C.), interviewed as part of my doctoral research. Despite public claims by the B.C. government to foster the independence, community participation, and citizenship of disabled people in B.C., the intersection of government policy and practices and how they are read and taken up by disabled women discipline them in ways that produce profound uncertainty in their lives, such that these women become uncertain subjects (Kimpson, 2015).
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