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Understanding AutismParents, Doctors, and the History of a Disorder$
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Chloe Silverman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150468

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150468.001.0001

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Love as an Analytic Tool

Love as an Analytic Tool

(p.1) Introduction Love as an Analytic Tool
Understanding Autism

Chloe Silverman

Princeton University Press

This book examines the evolution of the diagnostic category of autism as people have understood it in different places and times, with a particular focus on the importance of affect in biomedical research during the second half of the twentieth century and the first few years of the twenty-first. It considers the degree to which representation of autism depends on particular institutional and epistemological arrangements; shifts the focus from psychiatrists, epidemiologists, and geneticists to parents, counselors, diagnosticians, and lawyers, as they try to make sense of and apply systematic, authoritative knowledge in their daily lives and work; and highlights the centrality of love as a way of knowing about bodies, persons, and relationships in biomedicine. This introduction provides an overview of theories of love in biomedicine, the ethics of treating autism and how it relates to the question of moral personhood, the history of diagnosis of autism, biosociality and contested illnesses, and the book's methodology.

Keywords:   autism, affect, biomedical research, parents, love, biomedicine, moral personhood, autism diagnosis, biosociality, contested illnesses

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