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Sight UnseenGender and Race Through Blind Eyes$
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Ellyn Kaschak

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172905

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172905.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

The Color of Blindness

The Color of Blindness

(p.37) 3 The Color of Blindness
Sight Unseen

Ellyn Kaschak

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the experiences of another blind person—this time a woman named Isabel—with particular focus on issues of gender and sexual orientation. Unlike the previous chapter's case study, Isabel has been blind all her life, and has to take her cues about cultural and social norms while at the same time attempting to hide her blindness. The experience of color is of particular note, as beyond its aesthetic values color also informs certain Western preoccupations—such as, for example, the color of one's skin. As well, the mere sound of one's voice or the language used can, in effect, “color” their perceptions of what the other person is like. Many other “sighted” constructs of reality also make their way to the blind, as even such cultural notions of how a woman should look continue to preoccupy women who attempt to reach for the sighted world.

Keywords:   Isabel, case study, blindness, experience of color, reality, cultural and social norms

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