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ERIC Number: EJ886158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0968-7599
Mediating Self-Hood: Exploring the Construction and Maintenance of Identity by Mothers of Children Labeled with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Rocque, Bill
Disability & Society, v25 n4 p485-497 Jun 2010
Based on the findings of a qualitative study, this article describes how mothers of children labeled with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) mediate for their children in interactions with those who are unfamiliar with ASD. Data were collected through in-depth interviews and participant observations. Findings indicate that mothers mediate for their children because they perceive hostility and lack of accommodation for their children on the part of unfamiliars. As they mediate, mothers attempt to construct and maintain positive identities for their children by explaining and reframing their children's behaviors to influence the interpretations and responses of unfamiliars. I argue that in these interactions mothers function as proxy selves for their children because they are attempting to influence the perceptions others develop of their children, thus shaping their children's social identity in the process. The findings of this study demonstrate the active, interpretive role that many mothers of children with autism play as they continually sort and assess information in order to determine what is in the best interests of their children. Further, the findings presented here demonstrate the social nature of self-hood and identity, that all people involve others in the performance of their self-hood. In this way and others, people labeled with ASD have much in common with those considered normal.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A