Autism in the academy: construct, consume, commodify

MALLETT, Rebecca (2010). Autism in the academy: construct, consume, commodify. In: Society for Disability Studies Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2-5 June, 2010. (Unpublished)

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Official URL: http://disstudies.org/annual-conference/archive/20...

Abstract

Provoked by the proliferation of 'autism' in the academy, this paper asks whether theories of consumption can help explore how certain knowledges become significant at certain times. In not wanting to deny the experiences of people with the label of autism and the discrimination, exclusion and disadvantage they often face, the paper is not interested in arguing about whether or not 'autism' exists. Instead, it seeks to explore autism's role as a category in academia. It begins by contending that, far from being neutral entities, knowldges are constructed and consumed through their socio-cultural contexts and should be examined as such. It goes on to take social-science knowledge in/on autism in the UK as its specific focus and examines its acquisition and dissemination. In exploring how 'autism' is implicated in processes of teaching, research, publishing, etc the paper will address how 'autism' is constructed, consumed and commodified. Here ideas from social theories of consumption (especially Marx's notion of commodity fetishism) will be mobilised to investigate how 'autism' is packaged for academic consumption. The paper will conclude by briefly discussing the implications of this for Disability Studies and the global disability community.(Presented at Society for Disability Studies Conference, 2nd-5th June, Philadelphia, New Jersey, USA.)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Depositing User: Rebecca Mallett
Date Deposited: 27 May 2011 10:25
Last Modified: 27 May 2011 10:25
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3525

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