Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Here's an excerpt courtesy of Olga Solomon, in Sense and the Senses: Anthropology and the Study of Autism:

“[This review] considers the production of knowledge about autism as a clinically relevant category at the intersection of sense as culturally organized competence in meaning making and the senses as a culturally normative and institutionally ratified sensory and perceptual endowment.”

Is that a sentence? Please don't tell me that's a sentence from the English language. Because if that's a sentence from the English language, I'm going to have to go back to first grade and start over. To be honest, it's a downright shame I felt the need to substitute “[This review]” for “It” in the excerpt, because as far as I can tell “It” was the only word that actually had a referent.

Yes, folks, this is what a postgraduate education can do for you too. Be forewarned.


Clay said...

Yeah, it sounded like someone who's written a few too many theses. What it lacked in clarity, it made up for with obfuscation. ;-)

The author said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The author said...

Bugger I've lost that last comment, I'll start again.

I reckon I could do better (or worse) than that according to your viewpoint.

I believe she is saying that the knowledge (literature and study) of autism (as a clinical category) is a cultural artefact.

It is a cultural artefact that exists at the intersection (not the best word) of the socially constructed paradigm of sensory and perceptual normality.

That is to say the knowlege of and reactions to ones own senses are in part culturally produced, they are things that are learnt.

Anyway who is she?

I rather suspect she is yet another of these anthropologist types cashing in on the autism chic.

Alan Griswold said...

Thanks for the effort, Larry, but explained gibberish is still gibberish.