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Autism and GenderFrom Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks$
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Jordynn Jack

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038372

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038372.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 September 2018

Performing Gender

Performing Gender

Mother Warriors

Chapter:
(p.64) Chapter 2 Performing Gender
Source:
Autism and Gender
Author(s):

Jordynn Jack

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038372.003.0003

This chapter deals with individuals' performance of gendered characters in more recent debates about vaccines and autism. Mothers engaged in these debates perform traditional feminine characters in order to claim epistemic authority over their children's diagnosis and treatment and to argue against the scientific establishment, using character as an element of conformation, or as support for a cause. Thus, mothers who actively argue for increased research funding or for specific theories of autism's etiology draw on topoi of experiential knowledge, caregiving, and maternal instinct, sometimes embracing the character of mother warrior or autism mother. They are countered by experts, most often males, who take on the character of the good doctor or father figure to argue against the vaccine theory.

Keywords:   vaccines, traditional female, mother warrior, autism mother, good doctor, vaccine theory

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