Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience

Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience

by Des Fitzgerald

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Overview

Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience by Des Fitzgerald

In Tracing Autism, Des Fitzgerald offers an up-close account of the search for a neurological explanation of autism. As autism has gained cultural prominence with more diagnoses and more controversy, its biological causes remain elusive.

Through in-depth interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, Fitzgerald examines what it means to do scientific research in the ambiguous terrain of autism research, a field marked by shifting horizons of uncertainty and ambivalence. He draws out how autism scientists talk and feel their way through their research, demonstrating its profoundly affective character, and expanding our understanding of what is at stake in the new brain sciences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780295741918
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication date: 06/28/2017
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Des Fitzgerald is lecturer in sociology at Cardiff University. He is the coauthor of Rethinking Interdisciplinarity across the Social Sciences and Neurosciences.

What People are Saying About This

Elizabeth A. Wilson

Beautifully written and lucidly argued, Tracing Autism shows us how to think in more entangled, capaciousm, and affecting ways about the social life of neuroscience.

Jennifer S. Singh

Tracing Autism offers a theoretically rich and alternative perspective that departs from a critique of neuroscience to highlight how scientists 'move in, around, and out' with the complexities, anxieties, and ambiguities of autism neuroscience and the developing brain.

Nikolas Rose

Much more than a study of the making of a specific diagnostic category, this beautifully written book helps us to understand the hopes, the passions, and the ambivalences of scientists at work at the intersections of neuroscientific research, clinical practice and personal commitment.

Chloe Silverman

The work is engaging, thoughtful, and challenging. Tracing Autism makes an innovative contribution to autism studies, studies of science and affect, and the sociology of medical knowledge.

Interviews

Tracing Autism is an up-close account of the search for a neurological explanation of autism. Through in-depth interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists and psychiatrists, the book explores what it means to do high-tech scientific research, and to seek biological clarity, when you're surrounded only by an efflorescence of uncertainty and complexity. Focusing particularly on how autism scientists talk and feel their way through the complications of their research, Tracing Autism is the story of what it's like to do neurobiological work on a complex developmental disorder, when that disorder is so present, and so visible, and so knowable, and yet so hard to grasp.Much recent work in the social study of biomedicine has explored what happens when disorders get firmly 'medicalized.' But this books asks: how we are to understand cutting-edge neuroscientific research when it works through a much more ambiguous terrain, one marked by shifting horizons of uncertainty, ambivalence, and confusion? Focusing on how researchers actually do neuroscientific research in such circumstances, the book expands our understanding of what is stake in the new brain sciences. It complicates our understanding of how those sciences have come to torque and hold-together novel psychological and psychiatric categories — while opening up new ways for scholars, within the social study of biomedicine, to think with and through the neurosciences.

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