Becoming quixotic? A discussion on the discursive construction of disability and how this is maintained through social relations

Alexander Gray Cockain

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Using an autoethnographic approach, this paper focuses upon interactions between ‘Paul’ (a pseudonym), whose symptoms associated with ‘severe learning difficulties’ are such that he is positioned on the low-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, his carers and others, in spaces taken for granted to be ‘public’ in both the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. This paper examines how social discourses relating to disability filter into social interactions, ultimately constructing the symptoms they purport to represent. This paper concludes by highlighting how interactions might be viewed as enabling rather than disabling, as producing spaces for thinking about the human condition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1485
Number of pages13
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • classification
  • discourse
  • self-subjectifying practices
  • severe learning difficulties
  • social relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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