Sight Unseen

Gender and Race Through Blind Eyes

Ellyn Kaschak

Columbia University Press

Sight Unseen

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Pub Date: April 2015

ISBN: 9780231172905

208 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $45.00

Pub Date: April 2015

ISBN: 9780231539531

208 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $44.99

Sight Unseen

Gender and Race Through Blind Eyes

Ellyn Kaschak

Columbia University Press

Sight Unseen reveals the cultural and biological realities of race, gender, and sexual orientation from the perspective of the blind. Through ten case studies and dozens of interviews, Ellyn Kaschak taps directly into the phenomenology of race, gender, and sexual orientation among blind individuals, along with the everyday epistemology of vision. Kaschak's work reveals not only how the blind create systems of meaning out of cultural norms but also how cultural norms inform our conscious and unconscious interactions with others regardless of our physical ability to see.
This book provides unique insights not only into how the blind perceive and interpret gender, race, and sexual orientation but also into how these dimensions become incorporated in our conscious and unconscious interactions with one another regardless of our physical ability to see. This is definitely a very creative idea and makes for a book that stands out as different from anything else I have ever read on this subject. The use of interviews and qualitative analysis of the interview data provides a firsthand window into experiences seldom discussed. Oliva Espin, professor emerita of psychology, San Diego State University and Alliant University
Is there a border between the seen and the unseen world?" Ellyn Kaschak invites you to explore this question through the mirror of blindness. In this superb book you will witness illuminating stories about race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, and disability. Part psychology, part ethnographic research, but all heart, this book is a must read for anyone interested in people's lives. Lillian Comas-Diaz, George Washington University
From one of the most fertile and creative minds of our generation comes this original and innovative narrative of the social construction of race and gender among the blind and the sighted. The reader is first startled and then entrenched to learn the invisibility of assumptions about race and gender built right in to ordinary vision. It teaches us about privilege, compassion and our powerful search for belonging. A moving and astonishing combination of wisdom, originality and course. Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito, Former Vice President and Judge, International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Sight Unseen is a tour de force. Ellyn Kaschak gives readers fascinating portraits of the life worlds of blind people--people who experience the social world and themselves without recourse to the visual. How, she asks, do blind people conjure up race, gender, sexual orientation, desire, and desirability? Her answers continually upend commonsense. By showing us what and how the blind "see," Kaschak makes evident the filters and lenses that all of us see through. Readers have always counted on Ellyn Kaschak for inventive analyses and thought-provoking insights. In Sight Unseen, she has delivered yet again. Jeanne Marecek, Wm. Kenan Professor Emerita of Psychology, Swarthmore College
This is a moving and astonishing union of wisdom, originality, and course. Reviews by Amos Lassen
[Sight Unseen] takes the reader on a unique journey through the world of the blind individual.... Highly recommended. Choice
A contribution much to be admired and embraced. PsycCritiques
Acknowledgments
1. The Eye of the Beholder
2. Blind Date
3. The Color of Blindness
4. Hiding in Plain Sight
5. Looks Are Everything
6. Three's Company
7. Talking Black: The Color Code
8. Double Blind: Abigail
9. Double Blind: Gabrielle
10. Blind Citizenship Classes: The Mirror Does Not Reflect
11. Not Seeing Is Also Believing
Further Readings
Works Cited
Index

About the Author

Ellyn Kaschak is professor emerita of psychology at San Jose State University, as well as the editor of the journal Women and Therapy. Kaschak is one of the founders of the field of feminist psychology, which she has practiced and taught since 1972. Her many scholarly works, including the groundbreaking Engendered Lives: A New Psychology of Women's Experience, have helped define the field. Kaschak is is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning psychologist, writer, and teacher, widely known as a speaker, human rights advocate, and an expert on women and gender.