This thesis- an ethnography of mothers of children with disabilities in an impoverished Siberian village- examines culturally specific constructions of disability, gender, and motherhood in post-Soviet Russia. Employing theories of the semiotic self, liminality, and the life course, I meld Anthropology, Disability Studies, and post-Soviet area studies to demonstrate that, in the context of the Siberian village, the stigma of disability is branded on the mother of an impaired child. In organizing an independent, grassroots school for their children, these mothers create an autonomous space, reclaiming social personhood and challenging power structures by appropriating rhetoric of the Soviet 'women's collective'.



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