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Autism and the Question of the Human
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2015 (English)In: Literature and medicine, ISSN 0278-9671, E-ISSN 1080-6571, Vol. 33, no 1, 202-221 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article explores how normative notions of emotions and interaction are active in constructions of the categories of "human" and "animal" in different discourses about autism: scientific and autobiographical. In the scientific discourse of autistic emotionality, a deficit perspective of autism is central. The general affective deficit discourse relies on normative discursive notions of "humanity" or "human emotionality." Thus, neurotypicals are produced as real "humans" and neurotypical emotionality as "normal" human emotionality. This human normativity is challenged in the Swedish autobiographical texts by Gunilla Gerland (b. 1963), Iris Johansson (b. 1945) and Immanuel Brändemo (b. 1980). Along with American authors of autobiographies about autism, such as Temple Grandin's Thinking in Pictures (1995) and Dawn Prince-Hughes' Songs of the Gorilla Nation (2004) they destabilize the categories of "human" and "animal" by identifying with nonhuman animals, describing themselves as such, or feeling disqualified as real humans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 33, no 1, 202-221 p.
Keyword [en]
Human, animal, autism, emotions, interaction, posthumanism, disability studies, animal studies
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106620DOI: 10.1353/lm.2015.0009ISI: 000357240300010PubMedID: 26095847OAI: diva2:843114
Available from: 2015-07-27 Created: 2015-07-24 Last updated: 2015-07-27Bibliographically approved

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Rosqvist, Hanna Bertilsdotter
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Department of Social WorkDepartment of Sociology
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