The Ugly Laws - pr_284641

The Ugly Laws

Disability in Public

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In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, municipallaws targeting "unsightly beggars" sprang up in cities across America. Seeming to criminalize disability and thus offering a visceral example of discrimination, these "ugly laws" have become a sort of shorthand for oppression in disability studies, law, and the arts. In this watershed study of the ugly laws, Susan M. Schweik uncovers the murky history behind the laws, situating the varied legislation in its historical context and exploring in detail what the laws meant. Illustrating how the laws join the history of the disabled and the poor, Schweik not only gives the reader a deeper understanding of the ugly laws and the cities where they were generated, she locates the laws at a crucial intersection of evolving and unstable concepts of race, nation, sex, class, and gender. Moreover, she explores the history of resistance to the ordinances, using the often harrowing life stories of those most affected by their passage. Moving to the laws' more recent history, Schweik analyzes the shifting cultural memory of the ugly laws, examining how they have been used-and misused-by academics, activists, artists, lawyers, and legislators.

Product code: 9780814783610

ISBN 9780814783610
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H229xW152
Series The History of Disability
No. Of Pages 443
Publisher New York University Press
A hard look at an ugly chapter in America's history