The vernacular architecture of r/autism subreddit: Definition, diagnosis and kinship

Helena Safron (Florida State University)

Within the r/autism subreddit, its (mostly) autistic users occupy and commandeer both the subforum’s structure as well as the categorization of autism. Through the everyday performances that take place within the semi-ephemeral postings of the subreddit, users co-create their own vernacular definition of autism by recounting their lived, embodied experiences that simultaneously construct and are informed by their collective system of autistic values and meanings. These permeate not just their lives in the present, but that of their genealogical pasts and futures, explaining old difficulties and chart out news ways of understanding their diagnosis and helping them reconstruct kinship formations.

Part of 06-04 Health, (Dis)Ability, and Justice, Friday, November 03, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm