There has been widespread media coverage of what is often referred to as the “autism epidemic” around the world. Today autism
There has been widespread media coverage of what is often referred to as the “autism epidemic” around the world. Today autism remains a field of contention. This presentation builds on fieldwork conducted in Turkey to analyze the changing politics of childhood through a study of autism. Through observations and interviews with parents and professionals, I show that middle class parents have formed alliances with Western-educated experts to “disassemble” the autism spectrum and opt out of the world of autism altogether. I will discuss in detail the contestation over biomedical treatments, the changing nature of special education and “valorization of childhood” in an environment increasingly governed by the principles of neoliberalism. In doing so, the presentation intends to bring a relational understanding to how disease categories travel globally and how diseases are localized.
Dr. Emine Öncüler Yayalar teaches courses on Science, Technology and Society at the Faculty of Engineering of Bilkent University. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Boğaziçi University and M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from Columbia University in New York. She has previously published on sociology of knowledge, sociology of expertise and gender studies. Dr. Yayalar is the co-author of the book The Autism Matrix, which was awarded the Robert K. Merton book prize by the American Sociological Association. Her current research investigates social determinants of knowledge in medicine, science and technology.
Susam Sokak No:16 Kat:3 Daire: 7 Cihangir - İstanbul