On disability, humour and rabbit holes: a personal reflection

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This Current Issues piece offers a very personal reflection on the issue of disability and humour. It is about the author's relationship with humour in the context of an acquired neurological disability. This Current Issues piece explores the topic of disability and humour. While humour is not a novel theme within disability research, the author approaches it from the perspective of her own personal experience of living with an acquired neurological disability. The article highlights some of the complexities of humour in the context of disability, noting that the line between humour and offensiveness can be extremely thin. The article discusses two particular disability ‘storylines’ identified by Bertilsdotter Rosquist (2012)–the ‘socially critical storyline’ and ‘the storyline of “disability humour”’. It adds a third storyline, in which disability and humour can happily co-exist, but without disability necessarily being the direct object of that humour. The neurologist Dr Allan Ropper has described neurology patients as disappearing ‘down a rabbit hole’. For the author, humour is way of adapting to the ‘rabbit hole’–but without disappearing down it.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2103792
Pages (from-to)1541-1545
Number of pages5
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number9
Early online date27 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • 'rabbit hole’
  • humour
  • neurology
  • disability


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