Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Oberlin Community Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Comparative American Studies


Gina Perez

Committee Member(s)

Jay Fiskio
Elizabeth Hamilton
Gina Perez


Disability, Ability, Disability Studies, Dis/ability, Developmental disabilities, Multi-abled, Community, Care, Care work, Care giver, Labor, Intentional community, Camphill, Camphill village, Life sharing, Living well, Interdependence, Precarity, Precarious, Precaritization, Governmental precarization, Neoliberalism, Pandemic, Funding, State funding, State oversight, Grants, State language, Bureacracy, Deinstitutionalization, Nuclear family, Refuge, Interviews, Language


Camphill is a multi-abled intentional community located in upstate New York. I lived and worked there for eight months during the pandemic, and I returned in October of 2022 to conduct interviews with Camphill residents about their experiences in the community. Grounded in these interviews as well as precarity, care, and disability studies scholarship, my thesis uplifts Camphill's multi-abled practices of living that render binaries between disability and ability largely irrelevant to life at Camphill. I uplift these practices of living and being in their wholeness, while also revealing how Camphill contends with the imminent threat of the re-inscription of these binaries in the form of state-mandated documentation and bureaucracy. This thesis argues that new systems of funding–ones that let communities self-determine how they care for, talk about, and live with each other–are necessary to create spaces like Camphill where people of all dis/abilities are able to, as Judith Butler says, “live and live well” (“Bodies Matter” 52:57).