Using governmentality and performativity theory to understand the role of social attitudes in young people with visual impairment access to sexual and reproductive health services
This exploratory study investigates how governmentality enforced by societal attitudes influences performativity of young people with visual impairment (PVI) to/not access sexual and reproductive health services (SRH). To explore this phenomenon, existing data was utilised from a focus group around the sexuality of young PVI with three experts in the field of visual impairment as a starting point. A thematic analysis revealed various challenges that might be encountered by young PVI as they access SRH, e.g. stigma. A Foucauldian discourse analysis builds on these challenges by suggesting that governmentality construed by institutional, macro-level structures (e.g. social attitudes) should not be taken as the only barriers to/not accessing SRH, but young PVI might also employ individual, micro-level decision-making processes (e.g. socially-negotiated rationalities) to/not access SRH. The final theorisation here remains unsettled; actual voices of young PVI need to be located in this ongoing conversation.
Key words: access; governmentality; young people with visual impairment; performativity; sexual and reproductive health services; social attitudes