2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Men Have Pumpkins for Heads … or Are Made of Glass. Autism: How Does It Fit into Our Society?

Louise Ramsden, 2010, Stage 2

Objective/ territory: To analyse how autism fits into our society and deconstruct our self- constructed ‘social norms.’ People have wrong conceptions based in historical comprehension.

Sources: Michael Foucault (Madness and Civilisation), Jacques Derrida (Writing and Difference), Descartes (The First Meditations).

Project outline: I aim to provide an understanding that autism does not necessarily fit into either category of reason or non- reason. Through analysing the philosophers named above, I will investigate the truth or validity behind our self-constructed ‘social norms’, and whether or not we hold a true account of what is considered to be reason and non-reason. Questions will be addressed such as where do we draw the line of separation between reason and non- reason? Is there such a thing as reason and non-reason? Where has our idea of normality been derived from? And who has the right to decide what is normal?

Through a method of deconstruction, I aim to scrap the system and prove that society should be constructed in such a way that rejects any notion of social hierarchies.

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