The Archaeology of Autism and the Emergence of the Autistic Subject

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The Archaeology of Autism and the Emergence of the Autistic Subject

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dc.contributor.author Vakirtzi, Eva en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-14T15:54:26Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-21T11:49:37Z
dc.date.issued 2010-12-10 en_US
dc.description.abstract This Thesis is a theoretical attempt to analyze the emergence of Autism as a discourse and, through it, the emergence of the Autistic Subjectivity. My primary aim is to create a kind of history of the different modes by which autistic persons become subjects. I am following a post-structuralist methodology, based on Michel Foucault’s work on the birth of psychiatry and institutions, his analysis of power relations, his ideas on the objectification and subjectification of the individual, and finally his notions of governmentality and bio-power. More specifically, I am making use of the Foucauldian techniques of Archaeology and Genealogy in order to investigate the birth of Autism through, the psychiatric discipline, psychoses, classificatory systems and the Asylum of the late Eighteenth and Nineteenth century. Under the same methodological strand, I am treating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), in relation to Autism, as a disciplinary tool and as a discursive event. I present the existing knowledge on Autism and more specifically on the ‘impairment in social interaction’ and ‘in pragmatic language’. Finally, I attempt an analysis of Autism as a apparatus, through its episteme, mechanisms, and elements. I give an overview of the two main epistemologies on Autism, that of psychoanalysis and TOM (Theory of Mind) and I introduce the notions of bio-power and governmentality as drive mechanisms, which inform the elements of the apparatus and turn them into regulators of the autistic subjectivity. I am making an analysis of specific elements that I recognize as most important for the objectification and subjectification of the autistic individual; these are: autobiographies and educational institutions. Moreover, I discuss how through a continuum of truth discourses, strategies of intervention, and modes of objectification, the Autistic individual finds itself in a battle of modes of power, where it either consents to normalization or shields its ‘pathology P’ by disobedience and resistance. Finally, I argue that the deconstruction of existed discursive entities and their reconstruction upon a different epistemological basis leads to a rethink of Autism in terms of Education. What is needed is an emphasis to the notion of παιδεία (paideia), which aims to the creation of free and self-fulfilled human beings, rather than exclusively to the notion of εκπαί δευσις (ekpaideusis), that gives emphasis to the development of capabilities, and in the case of autistic children, to the creation of docile, marginalized bodies. en_GB
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10036/3135 en_US
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher University of Exeter en_GB
dc.rights.embargoreason I need to work on publications deriving from the content of my Thesis en_GB
dc.subject Autism en_GB
dc.subject Subjectivity en_GB
dc.subject Foucault en_GB
dc.subject Archaeology en_GB
dc.subject Genealogy en_GB
dc.subject Bio-Power en_GB
dc.subject Governmentality en_GB
dc.subject Apparatus en_GB
dc.title The Archaeology of Autism and the Emergence of the Autistic Subject en_GB
dc.type Thesis or dissertation en_GB
dc.date.available 2012-09-30T04:00:07Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-21T11:49:37Z
dc.contributor.advisor Bayliss, Philip en_US
dc.publisher.department Graduate School of Education en_GB
dc.type.degreetitle PhD in Education en_GB
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_GB
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_GB


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