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Ugly Laws

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Abstract

So-called “ugly laws” were mostly municipal statutes in the United States that outlawed the appearance in public of people who were, in the words of one of these laws, “diseased, maimed, mutilated, or in any way deformed, so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object” (Chicago City Code 1881). Although the moniker “ugly laws” was coined to refer collectively to such ordinances only in 1975 (Burgdorf and Burgdorf 1975), it has become the primary way to refer to such laws, which targeted the overlapping categories of the poor, the homeless, vagrants, and those with visible disabilities. Enacted and actively enforced between the American Civil War (1867) and World War I (1918), such laws and their enforcement can tell us much about the very sorts of people who were also, a generation later, subject to explicitly eugenic laws, such as sterilization legislation. And like eugenic laws and policies, such laws continue to affect the lives of people with disabilities to this day (Schweik 2011).
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uanM.chweikandRoertA.Wilon
o-called“ugllaw”weremotlmunicipaltatuteintheUnitedtate
thatoutlawedtheappearanceinpulicofpeoplewhowere,inthewordof
oneoftheelaw,“dieaed,maimed,mutilated,orinanwadeformed,o
atoeanunightlordigutingoject”(ChicagoCitCode1881).
Althoughthemoniker“ugllaw”wacoinedtorefercollectiveltouch
ordinanceonlin1975(urgdorfandurgdorf1975),ithaecomethe
primarwatorefertouchlaw,whichtargetedtheoverlappingcategorie
ofthepoor,thehomele,vagrant,andthoewithviilediailitie.
nactedandactivelenforcedetweentheAmericanCivilWar(1867)and
WorldWarI(1918),uchlawandtheirenforcementcantellumuchaout
theverortofpeoplewhowerealo,agenerationlater,ujectto
explicitleugeniclaw,uchaterilizationlegilation.Andlikeeugenic
lawandpolicie,uchlawcontinuetoaffecttheliveofpeoplewith
diailitietothida(chweik2011).
Hitor
ThefirtoftheelawwaintroducedtheCitofanFrancicoon9th
Jul,1867:“OrderNo.783.ToProhiittreetegging,andtoRetrain
CertainPeronfromAppearingintreetandPulicPlace”(chweik
2009:291).Athenameofthiordinanceugget,ugllawwere
concernedwithmorethanappearance,prohiitingoththeactivitof
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treeteggingandtheappearanceinpulicof“certainperon”.The
phraingthatonefindintheChicagoCitCodein1881originateinthi
anFrancicolaw;thereferencewiththatlawtodeformit,unightline,
andeinga“digutingoject”icommonacrocomparaleordinancein
NewOrlean(1979),Portland,Oregon(1881),Denver(1886),Lincoln
(1889),Columu(1894),Omaha(1890),NewYork(1895,draftedutnot
enacted),Manila(1902,underUjuridiction),andReno(1905).Thetate
ofPennlvaniawatheonlnon-municipaljuridictiontoenacta
comparalelaw,in1891.
Function,Conception,Mechanim
Themotovioufunctionofuchlawwatodicouragepeoplewith
viilediailitiefrom“hangingout”inpulicuranpaceakingpeople
formone,andtoprovidealegalaiforremovingthemfromuchpace.
utthewordingandenforcementoftheelaw,likethatofeugenic
terilizationandmarriageandimmigrationretrictionlaw,revealmuch
moreatworkthanperhapindicatedthiotenilefunction.Jutathe
motovioufunctionofeugenicterilizationlaw—topreventcertain
ortofpeoplefromothproducingandparentingchildren—i
accompaniedarangeofconceptionofthoepeopleandmechanimfor
interveningintheirliveinmorefar-reachingwa,otoowitho-called
“ugllaw”.Coniderthreeparallelandcontratetweentheeetof
law.
UglLawandugenic
Firt,eventhoughdiailititheolepreoccupationinneitherlegilative
domain,itiexplicitinandcentraltooth.Intheearlierugllaw,thii
primarilintermof“certainperon”eingdieae-riddenandphicall
deformed;inthelaterterilizationlegilation,diailitiexplicitprimaril
afeele-mindedneandmentalldeficiencordefectivene.Attheame
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time,thiexplicitfoculocatetheecentraltargetofthelegilation
againtaackgroundthatencourageamuchroaderetoftarget:the
poor,thecriminal,thehomele.
econd,theemphaiintheugllawonviilediailitandehaviour
thatdituredpreenturanocialordercontratedwiththatineugenic
terilizationlawonleviilediailitiethatthreatenedfutureocial
order.Thatlaterputativethreatwatothehealthandwell-eingoffuture
generation,ometimecontruedaathreatto“racialpurit”,athreatn
takentojutifextremeformofinterventionontheliveandodieof
certainperon.
Third,thicontratcorrepondtotwoditinctdimeniontothe
contructionofdiailit.Areflectedintheattentiongivento“unightl”
and“diguting”ojectintheugllaw,onedimenionconcernthe
viceraleffectonaviewingpulic.Andareflectedinthefocuon
unormalit,epeciallpchologicalunormalit,ineugeniclegilation,
anotherdimenionconcerntheinferioritofcertainortofpeople
relativetoother.Itmaeworthreflectingfurtherontherelationhip
etweenuchdigutreactionandperceiveduhumantatu,epeciall
inthecontextofundertandingcontemporarformofeugenic;herethe
urgeoningliteratureondehumanizationmaeofhelp(mith2011,
HalamandLoughnan2014).
Hitoriograph,Lexicograph,Futurograph
Giventhehitoroftheterm“ugllaw”,thereiaeneinwhichthere
werenougllaw.utmappingoutthehitorofwordanddeedmight
telluomethingaoutthepreentandthefutureofdiailitandit'
ongoingentanglementwithroaderocialiue.
ometimearound1916,awomanknowna“MotherHating”watold
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authoritieinPortland,Oregonthathewa“tooterrileaightforthe
childrentoee.”“Themeantmcrippledhand,Igue,”hetolda
reporter.“Thegavememonetogetoutoftown.”(LoAngeleTime
1917).“MotherHating”complied,movingtoLoAngelejutathatcit’
leaderweredicuingenactingaverionofthecitordinancethathad
retrictedheraccetouranpaceinPortland.Theelawcloedcit
paceacrotheUnitedtatetopeoplewewouldnowcalldialed,
throughvariantofthewordwithwhichweegan:“Noperonwhoi
dieaed,maimed,mutilatedorinanwadeformedoatoeanunightl
ordigutingojectorimproperperontoeallowedinoronthepulic
waorotherpulicplaceinthicit,orhallthereinorthereonexpoe
himelftopulicview.”Theeordinancewerepanhandlinglawattheir
core.Unightlinewaatatuoffene,illegalonlforpeoplewithout
mean.Thoughfitfullenforced,thelawhadprofoundconequencefor
peoplelikeMotherHating.
Inthe1970,afterthewell-pulicizedarretofamaninOmahaforviolating
theordinance,thediailitmovement,eginningitpuhforthe
AmericanwithDiailitieAct,eizedonthelawthecalledtheugllawa
aniconictorofgeneralizedtate-ponoreddiailitoppreion(Fogart
1974).Thelinktoegging,povertandhomelenewaminimizedor
forgottenintheeloquentcitationoftheordinancein1970diailit
activim,artcultureandlegaladvocac.
Diailitactivituedthetoroftheugllawaacranddemandfor
incluioninatrulopencit.Forthireaonitiparticularlironicthatcit
leaderinPortland,OregonhaverecentleizedupontheAmericanwith
DiailitieActaarueforforecloingeggingandcloingoffpulicpace
totreetpeople(chweik2011).AfewearagoPortland’maoram
Adamannouncedanew“idewalkManagementPlan”creatinga
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“pedetrianuezone”jutifieditaiinthefederalAmericanwith
DiailitieAct,drawingonproviioninthatactforpecificdeign
guidelinethatdialedcitizenneedforunotructedpaageonpulic
idewalk(Adam2011).InPortland,theADA,intendedtoethelegalend
oftheugllawthatcloedthecitto“MotherHating,”wanoweing
cnicalltwited,inaterrileutfamiliariron,precielagaintpeople
exactllikeher.
Citethidocument(APA):
Wilon,.(2015,Feruar5).UglLaw.RetrievedAugut22,2016,from
http://eugenicarchive.ca/dicover/encclopedia/54d39e27f8a0ea4706000009
Reference
Adam,Maoram,201,idewalkManagementDraftPlan.http://vimeo.com/10410659.
urgdorf,MarciaPearceandRoerturgdorf,Jr.,1975,“AHitorofUnequalTreatment:The
QualificationofHandicappedPeronaa‘upectCla’underthequalProtection
Claue”,antaClaraLawReview15(4),855-888.
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Apr.21,1974,at1.
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chweik,uanM.,2011,“KickedtotheCur:UglLawThenandNow,”HarvardCivilRight-
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mith,DavidLivingtone,2011,LeThanHuman:WhWeDemean,nlave,andxterminate
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... Separation is also a persistent feature in the lives of persons with disabilities (Gordon & Rosenblum, 2001). In the early 1900s, blatant and complete segregation (into institutions, asylums, and poorhouses) was normative, particularly for those with intellectual disabilities (Ferguson, 2014;Schweik, 2010) or deafness or blindness (Burch, 2002). Normalization, the belief that each individual has the right to circumstances as close to "regular" as possible, ushered in the beginnings of deinstitutionalization in the 1960s and 1970s in the US (Shakespeare, 2006). ...
... Norms of ideal workers were particularly perpetuated by Fordism, the philosophies underlying mass production and mass consumption in the US in the early 20th century (Richter, 2016). City ordinances called Ugly Laws emerged, barring people with visible disabilities from public (Schweik, 2010). Yet with disability more prevalent among poor people, or poor people more likely to be perceived as disabled, Ugly Laws policed poor people as much as they did people with disabilities (Schweik, 2010). ...
... City ordinances called Ugly Laws emerged, barring people with visible disabilities from public (Schweik, 2010). Yet with disability more prevalent among poor people, or poor people more likely to be perceived as disabled, Ugly Laws policed poor people as much as they did people with disabilities (Schweik, 2010). At the same time, intellectual disability and mental illness were increasingly viewed as the root cause of criminality (Carey, 2009;Trent & James, 1994). ...
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Complete and accurate understandings of stratification depend on more regular consideration of disability. To build sociologists' recognition of disability as a socially constructed axis of stratification, we first demonstrate the construction of the disability category through classic legitimating processes: moral attributions, biological attributions, separation, and dichotomization. Expanding understandings of basic processes of stratification, we then document the centrality of disability in the social construction of class, race, gender, sexual orientation, and age. Finally, we show various ways disability functions as an axis of stratification in intersection with other key axes of stratification.
... For example, if the "disabled body" and "prosthetic body" are conflated, with various assistive devices (e.g., glasses, crutches, wheelchairs) construed as the most reliable signifiers of "disability," it is predictable enough that certain types of disability will figure more prominently than others. Berube (2006, p. viii) observes that the topic of "disability (in its mutability, its potential invisibility, its potential relation to temporality, and its sheer variety) is a particularly elusive element to introduce into any conjunctural analysis, not because it is so distinct from sexuality, class, race, gender, and age but because it is always so complexly intertwined with everything else." Recognizing that bodies may be tagged as "disabled," "abnormal," "handicapped," "freakish" or "deformed" in certain contexts and not others (e.g., Garland-Thomson, 2009;Schweik, 2009), it would seem essential to acknowledge this indeterminacy. Nevertheless, this may be discouraged within analyses that accord primary to the placement of literary characters within such disability "categories" or types. ...
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Disability rights activists have long urged recognition of the import of cultural representations and their salience in the Othering process. Previous research on children’s picture books and novels has noted that persons with disabilities are commonly depicted in stereotypic and dehumanizing ways. This article explores the extent to which stereotypes of disability may be gendered and/or racialized by examining children’s books that won the American Library Association’s Newbery Medal between 1922-2012. It notes that the crafting of female and male characters with disabilities within these books pays homage to traditional gender roles, images and symbols and, most notably, reiterates an active-masculine/passive-feminine dichotomization. In addition, these representations suggest how racial essentialism is implicated in the production of “disability” within children’s literature, with non-white “racial” identity equated with various forms of impairment.
... The conviction that certain bodies are inherently ugly and thus worthy of confinement or social disposal is evident in the enactment of "ugly laws" in the United States, which, as Susan Schweik explores, were municipal laws that refused people access to public spaces on the grounds that some people were deemed unsightly in appearance and offensive to others. 17 These ordinances were formed on ableist, classist, racist, and settler colonial terms, intent on preserving a particular white and settler colonial landscape at the expense of Indigenous people, immigrants, people of color, and people with disabilities. Drawing on Schweik, Mary Unger argues that panic around ugly bodies increased in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as new legislation in the US, intensified police forces, and civic regulation were informed by new measures and standards of national efficiency and order. ...
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Ugliness or unsightliness is much more than a quality or property of an individual’s appearance—it has long functioned as a social category that demarcates access to social, cultural, and political spaces and capital. The editors of and authors in this collection harness intersectional and interdisciplinary approaches in order to examine ugliness as a political category that is deployed to uphold established notions of worth and entitlement. On the Politics of Ugliness identifies and challenges the harmful effects that labels and feelings of ugliness have on individuals and the socio-political order. It explores ugliness in relation to the intersectional processes of racialization, colonization and settler colonialism, gender-making, ableism, heteronormativity, and fatphobia. On the Politics of Ugliness asks that we fight against visual injustice and imagine new ways of seeing.
... The conviction that certain bodies are inherently ugly and thus worthy of confinement or social disposal is evident in the enactment of "ugly laws" in the United States, which, as Susan Schweik explores, were municipal laws that refused people access to public spaces on the grounds that some people were deemed unsightly in appearance and offensive to others. 17 These ordinances were formed on ableist, classist, racist, and settler colonial terms, intent on preserving a particular white and settler colonial landscape at the expense of Indigenous people, immigrants, people of color, and people with disabilities. Drawing on Schweik, Mary Unger argues that panic around ugly bodies increased in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as new legislation in the US, intensified police forces, and civic regulation were informed by new measures and standards of national efficiency and order. ...
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In this chapter, we open up this study of ugliness by exploring what it means and what is at stake when someone or something is marked with and by “ugliness.” We do this by considering contemporary deployments of ugliness, with a focus on Western socio-cultural contexts, as well as by providing a review of theoretical engagements with ugliness. We position ugliness politically, rather than purely aesthetically, tracing its intersections with discourses, practices, and institutions of power. To this end, we trace what it means to engage with a “politics of ugliness,” through a survey of conceptualizations of ugliness in both academic literature and the social context, drawing out ugliness as a uniquely mobile category that is deployed not only to marginalize bodies but also to keep those bodies in their subjugated place.
... (Scotch 2001, 376) These assessments and their concomitant moral suspicions are manifest in the abjectification and vilification of beggars in nineteenth-century and twentieth-century urban America. City statutescollectively and commonly known as the 'Ugly Laws', designed to sweep both mendicancy and disability from the streetswere legal markers of bourgeois intolerance of the (visible) fragility of the American dream (Schweik 2009). Normate, Bourgeois culture was sickened equally by the 'sturdy beggar' and the unsightly 'mutilations' of those who were most evidently not (2009,38). ...
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In this article I argue that disabled people in the United Kingdom have been tipped into an abyss of counterfeit citizenship. They have been smeared as ‘false mendicants’ – an old trick well documented in the historical archives of ableism. Neoliberalism has used this repertoire of invalidation – its noxious taint of cunning and fraud – as the ‘moral justification’ for welfare reform and for the pillory and notoriety into which the entire disabled community has been placed. Austerity – through the neoliberal politics of resentment – has made disabled people its scapegoat. I argue that a historical precedent for the contemporary demonisation of disabled people as counterfeit citizens can be found in the early modern period in the mythology of the ‘sturdy beggar’.
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Being well together, an inaugural Research Forum, will critically examine the myriad ways humans have formed partnerships with non-human species to improve health across time and place. Across the humanities and social sciences, a growing body of scholarship has begun to rethink the prominence of the ‘human’ in our accounts of the world by exploring the category less as an individualised essence and more as a temporal process of becoming. From this perspective, being human becomes a process of ‘becoming with’, performed through interactions with non-human others. This paper introduces a diverse collection of studies, originally presented at a workshop held at the University of Manchester in 2018, which explored how emergent approaches within animal studies might productively and playfully engage with the medical humanities. In each case, human health and well-being is shown to rest on the cultivation of relationships with other species. Being well is rethought and remapped as a more than human process of being well together. Collectively, this research forum invites reflection on what the medical humanities might look like from a more than human perspective.
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This chapter reflects on the production of Orlando, Florida and how the prevailing vision of its downtown development reiterates the enduring legacy of settler colonialism through its anti-homeless policies. These policies manifest as ugly laws, laws designed to define the unsightly and unwanted bodies of the citizenry in order to keep them from view. These laws are presented simultaneously as concerning aesthetics, safety issues, and even charity, while also serving the enduring settler colonial power structures that first shaped and sanctioned the state of Florida. The focus for analysis is the existing policies that regulate the downtown district of Orlando. These policies exhibit many of the characteristics that Susan Schweik identifies in the ugly laws, particularly with regard to the social, textual, and performative contexts in which the laws are deployed. Ultimately, this analysis denaturalizes downtown space in order to disrupt notions of white settler innocence and neutrality of space. The chapter demonstrates how Orlando’s strategies of city regulation are used to ensure the absence of ugliness, and how these techniques are deployed to maintain the dominance of both settler colonialism and the dynamics between settler society and ableism.
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We review early and recent psychological theories of dehumanization and survey the burgeoning empirical literature, focusing on six fundamental questions. First, we examine how people are dehumanized, exploring the range of ways in which perceptions of lesser humanness have been conceptualized and demonstrated. Second, we review who is dehumanized, examining the social targets that have been shown to be denied humanness and commonalities among them. Third, we investigate who dehumanizes, notably the personality, ideological, and other individual differences that increase the propensity to see others as less than human. Fourth, we explore when people dehumanize, focusing on transient situational and motivational factors that promote dehumanizing perceptions. Fifth, we examine the consequences of dehumanization, emphasizing its implications for prosocial and antisocial behavior and for moral judgment. Finally, we ask what can be done to reduce dehumanization. We conclude with a discussion of limitations of current scholarship and directions for future research. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Psychology Volume 65 is January 03, 2014. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
Kicked to the Cur: Ugl Law Then and Now
chweik, uan M., 2011, "Kicked to the Cur: Ugl Law Then and Now," Harvard Civil RightCivil Liertie Law Review Amicu, 46, 1-16.
41 egging Law Puni he Onl the Ugl
  • Jame Fogart
Fogart, Jame, 1974, " '41 egging Law Puni he Onl the Ugl ", Omaha unda World Herald, Apr. 21, 1974, at 1.
Le Than Human: Wh We Demean, nlave, and xterminate Other
  • David Mith
  • Livingtone
mith, David Livingtone, 2011, Le Than Human: Wh We Demean, nlave, and xterminate Other. New York: t. Martin' Pre.
A Hi tor of Unequal Treatment: The Qualification of Handicapped Per on a a ' u pect Cla ' under the qual Protection Clau e
  • Ma Adam
  • Marcia Pearce
  • Ro Ert Urgdorf
Adam, Ma or am, 201, idewalk Management Draft Plan. http ://vimeo.com/10410659. urgdorf, Marcia Pearce and Ro ert urgdorf, Jr., 1975, "A Hi tor of Unequal Treatment: The Qualification of Handicapped Per on a a ' u pect Cla ' under the qual Protection Clau e", anta Clara Law Review 15 (4), 855-888.
Love loom on idewalk
Lo Angele Time, 1917, "Love loom on idewalk", Januar 14th, 1917, at II2.
A Hitor of Unequal Treatment: The Qualification of Handicapped Peron a a 'upect Cla' under the qual Protection Claue
  • Marcia Adam
  • Pearce
  • Roert Urgdorf
Adam, Maor am, 201, idewalk Management Draft Plan. http://vimeo.com/10410659. urgdorf, Marcia Pearce and Roert urgdorf, Jr., 1975, "A Hitor of Unequal Treatment: The Qualification of Handicapped Peron a a 'upect Cla' under the qual Protection Claue", anta Clara Law Review 15 (4), 855-888.