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The Doing and Undoing of the “Autistic Child”: Cutting Together and Apart Interview-Based Empirical Materials

Holmes, Rachel and Frigerio, A and Benozzo, A and Runswick-Cole, K (2017) The Doing and Undoing of the “Autistic Child”: Cutting Together and Apart Interview-Based Empirical Materials. Qualitative Inquiry, 24 (6). pp. 390-402. ISSN 1077-8004

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Abstract

This article discusses how posthuman and new materialist theories afford us opportunities to rethink the production of the “autistic child,” drawing on a qualitative research project on parenthood in the context of childhood disability in Italy. We will put some Baradian’s key concepts (intra-action, agential cut and cutting together-apart) to work in glancing at the complexities we keep encountering when a mother, Arianna, describes her relationship with her daughter Laura. The aim of this article is twofold: first, to methodologically re-turn the production of the “autistic child,” and second, to rethink and unsettle the dichotomies that constitute some children as “disabled human beings,” abnormal, and undesirable.

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