PRESENTING SUPERB RESEARCH THAT ADVANCES THE FIELD OF EDUCATION

The Autism Industrial Complex

How Branding, Marketing, and Capital Investment Turned Autism into Big Business

Paperback
January 2022
9781975501853
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  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    24th January
  • ISBN 9781975501853
  • Language English
  • Pages 300 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
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$29.95
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January 2022
9781975501860
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  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    12th January
  • ISBN 9781975501860
  • Language English
  • Pages 300 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
$89.95
E-Book (ePub)
January 2022
9781975501877
More details
  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    12th January
  • ISBN 9781975501877
  • Language English
  • Pages 300 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  •    Request E-Exam Copy
$29.95

Autism—a concept that barely existed 75 years ago—currently feeds multiple, multi-billion-dollar-a-year, global industries.

In The Autism Industrial Complex: How Branding, Marketing, and Capital Investment Turned Autism into Big Business, Alicia A. Broderick analyzes how we got from the 11 children first identified by Leo Kanner in 1943 as “autistic” to the billion-dollar autism industries that are booming today. Broderick argues that, within the Autism Industrial Complex (AIC), almost anyone can capitalize on—and profit from—autism, and she also shows us how. The AIC has not always been there: it was built, conjured, created, manufactured, produced, not out of thin air, but out of ideologies, rhetorics, branding, business plans, policy lobbying, media saturation, capital investment, and the bodies of autistic people. Broderick excavates the 75-year-long history of the concept of autism, and shows us how the AIC—and indeed, autism today—can only be understood within capitalism itself. The Autism Industrial Complex is essential reading for a wide variety of audiences, from autistic activists, to professionals in the autism industries, to educators, to parents, to graduate students in public policy, (special) education, psychology, economics, and rhetoric.

Watch the book presentation "Raising Awareness of the AIC" hosted by NJACE and featuring the author, Alicia Broderick at: https://youtu.be/-fxzfuvuek4?t=336

Perfect for courses such as: Introduction to Critical Autism Studies; Disability Studies--Theory, Policy, Practice; Disability & Rhetoric; Disability & Cultural Studies; Doctoral Seminar in Disability Studies; Cultural Foundations of Disability in Education

“This is such a smart book, one that I and so many others have been seeking. Exhaustively researched, The Autism Industrial Complex: How Branding, Marketing, and Capital Investment Turned Autism into Big Business brilliantly lays out the onto-epistemological stakes of the entwinement of autism and capitalism. Broderick historizes the how and why of the commodification of autism, providing a jarring critique of the neoliberal logics of inclusion and intervention. The AIC is a tour de force; I cannot wait to teach it.”

Jasbir Puar, author of "The Right to Maim" and "Terrorist Assemblages"

“This is truly innovative work. It sends a critical lightning bolt into the enormous professional industry of autism that has tendrils sunk into university departments of medicine, rehabilitation, psychology, and education. Notions I’ve only half-wondered about this book puts together so well, so clearly, and with such detail that the readers will experience either satisfaction because they knew something was awry here or discomfort at the sheer scale of the problem.”

Scot Danforth, PhD, Professor, Disability Studies and Inclusive Education, Assistant Dean of Research, Chapman University

“Autism is at an inflection point today. We are poised for a paradigm shift in autism research, education, and therapies; this book initiates that shift, and does so superbly. In The Autism Industrial Complex: How Branding, Marketing and Capital Investment Turned Autism into Big Business, we learn about the history and evolution of this multi-billion dollar/year operation. Thanks to this history, we will remember Lovaas, ABA, and behaviorism in general not as a science, but as a branding, rhetoric, and marketing plot that transiently misguided many well-intended parents and professionals, and that in so doing profited with greed, by preying on our human hopes, our trust in science, and our fears.”

Elizabeth B. Torres, PhD, Professor & Computational Neuroscientist, Rutgers University, Principal Investigator, New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence (2018-2023)

“In this exquisite analysis of the Autism Industrial Complex (AIC), Broderick leads her readers through a complex and nuanced argument that begins with the straightforward premise that ‘autism is a construct inscribed upon, experienced through, and materialized by the bodies of autistic people.’ Her critique is richly informed by the intersection of social, historical, cultural, political and economic infrastructures that ‘produce and sustain autism as a lucrative commodity.’ Broderick, with great detail and critical insight, reveals the unfortunate impact of behaviorism as an ideology that has, for too long, held a stranglehold on our understanding of autism as little more than a scorecard of deficiency and lack. This book strengthens the arguments of those who advance alternative frameworks to understand autism in particular and disability in general. In so doing, it will undermine the institutions we have created to mine difference as problem.”

Linda Ware, PhD, Independent Scholar

Acknowledgments

Foreword – Anne McGuire

Part I: Forging The Autism Industrial Complex: Manufacturing Foundational Commodities (1943–1987)

1. Autism, Inc.: The Autism Industrial Complex
by Alicia A. Broderick and Robin Roscigno

2. Consuming Autism as Social Problem and the Cultural Logic of Intervention
by Alicia A. Broderick and Robin Roscigno

Part II: (Re)Branding and Marketing the AIC: Manufacturing Markets, Consumers, & Consumer Confidence (1987–present)

3. Rhetoric and Neoliberalism: On (Re)Branding and Consuming Hope

4. The Politics of Hope: Autism and “Recovery [to Normalcy]”

5. The Politics of Truth: Deploying Scientism in ABA Rhetoric

6. The Politics of Fear: The Fires that Forged the Economic Apparatus of the AIC

Part III: The Economic Apparatus of the AIC: Incorporation, Legislation, and Capital Investment (1998–present)

7. Intervention, Inc.: Nonprofit Corporations and Venture Capital

8. Prevention, Inc.: The Cultural Logic of Prevention, Basic Research, Hedging Bets, and Perennial (re)Branding

Part IV: Autism and Biocapital: On Precarity and Futurity

9. Autism and Biocapitalist Emergences: Biopolitical Technologies of Control

10. On Being Autistic in Neoliberal Capitalist Ruins: Endemic Precarity and Autistic Futurity

About the Author

Index

Alicia A. Broderick

Alicia A. Broderick is a Professor of Education at Montclair State University. She is a Disability Studies (DS) scholar and a scholar of Critical Autism Studies (CAS). For the past two decades, she has published critical scholarship on autism, deploying a variety of interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks, including critical discourse analysis, rhetoric, cultural studies, and historically-situated analyses of ideology, metaphor and narrative. Her present analysis synthesizes and reframes much of her extant work by deploying the overarching epistemological and ontological lens of neoliberal capitalism in analyzing the shifting meanings of autism within capitalism over the past 75 years.

autism; capitalism; critical autism studies; disability studies; neoliberalism; applied behavior analysis; autism industrial complex; autism intervention; biocapital; autistic identity