'And that, Damian, is what I call life-changing': findings from an action research project involving autistic adults in an on-line sociology study group

Milton, Damian, Moon, Lyte (2012) 'And that, Damian, is what I call life-changing': findings from an action research project involving autistic adults in an on-line sociology study group. Good Autism Practice, 13 (2). pp. 32-39. ISSN 1466-2973.

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Abstract

In this paper, the authors refer to the power imbalance which generally exists between the researcher and the researched and suggest that action research is a means to lessen the power often held by the researcher. The paper reports on how a group of 9 autistic adults got together to talk on-line about sociology and the issues that this method of working created and raised for some of the participants and the group as a whole. It is often said that autistic adults are likely to find Internet discussion groups easier than face-to- face interactions, and this was the case. After that, however, learners had different needs in terms of their time available, the type of structure that worked and their degree of exposure anxiety. Comparisons are made between the positive effects of this on- line learning experience and the often negative effects of the participants’ experiences of mainstream education, the latter frequently being very disabling, leading to low self esteem and self doubt. Exploring and discussing sociology on-line for some participants was liberating and life changing, as presentation of self, identity, alienation and feelings of ‘other’ are key concepts within the discipline – and there are important lessons within this paper for teaching staff and professionals from other disciplines too.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism, Online studying, Participation, Action Research, Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC553.A88 Autism. Asperger's syndrome
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Damian Milton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 05:38 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:18 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/62637 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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