Online collective identities for autism: The perspective of Brazilian parents

ANTUNES, Debora
DHOEST, Alexander
Publication Date 
2018
19 pp

The importance of online communities for parents of people with disabilities has been discussed by many scholars in the fields of Digital and Disability Studies, showing, for instance, the importance of social support and the formation of social ties. In order to contribute to this scholarship, this paper explores how collective identity models are built and circulated by parents of autistic people in one of the biggest Brazilian online communities about the subject, ‘Sou autista… conheça o meu mundo’ (I am autistic…get to know my world). The results were obtained through a digital ethnography, based on participant observation and an exchange of information with the members of the community studied. Based on the data collected, the study concludes that the collective identity models that circulate in this community can be grouped into legitimising, resistant, and project identities, as postulated by Castells (2010). The different views reflect how parents see autism and represent the ways it is treated in Brazilian society.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018 Vol.5, No. 1

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