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Towards a Foucauldian Methodology in the Study of Autism: Issues of Archaeology, Genealogy, and Subjectification

Authors

  • Eva Vakirtzi,

  • Phil Bayliss


Correspondence: Eva Vakirtzi, University of Exeter, Graduate School of Education, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK.

Email: e.vakirtzi@exeter.ac.uk

Phil Bayliss, University of Exeter, Graduate School of Education, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK.

Abstract

The remarkable increase in diagnoses of autism has paralleled an increase in scientific research and turned the syndrome into a kind of a new ‘trend’ within psychiatric and developmental conditions of childhood. At the same time, discursive technologies, such as DSM-IV, autobiographies, movies, fiction, etc., together with ‘educational’ interventions, such as TEACCH, PECS, Makaton, etc., seem to anticipate a form of an apparatus built around the condition named autism. Starting from this premise, the article proposes a new approach within autism studies, which treats the condition in Foucauldian terms and focuses on the emergence of the autistic subjectivity following Foucault's methodology of archaeology, genealogy, and modes of subjectification.

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