The Digitization of Neurodiversity: Real Cyborgs and Virtual Bodies


  • Isla Ng Hamilton College ('16)


Neurodiversity, The self online, Mental illness, Postcolonial feminism, Disability theory


Motivated by cultural associations between neurodiversity and digital technology, this paper explores digital identity politics by considering the online experiences of people with mental disabilities. I argue that the Internet, even while it provides opportunities for the production of powerful digital feminist counterpublics, can reify the ideological disembodiment and devaluation of identity. This, I argue, limits the Internet’s ability to represent and support disability identities, as well as other forms of identity. I call for the centering of disability theory in digital feminist thought as a way of promoting intersectionality and providing new theoretical methods.

Motivé par les associations culturelles entre la neurodiversité et la technologie numérique, cet article explore la politique de l’identité numérique en examinant les expériences en ligne de personnes ayant un handicap intellectuel. Je soutiens qu’Internet, même s’il fournit des occasions de créer des publics féministes et des contre-publics numériques puissants, peut réifier la désincarnation idéologique et la dévalorisation de l’identité. Cela, je soutiens, limite la capacité d’Internet à représenter et à soutenir les identités du handicap, ainsi que d’autres formes d’identité. J’appelle au recentrage de la théorie du handicap au sein de la réflexion féministe numérique comme un moyen de promouvoir l’intersectionnalité et de fournir de nouvelles méthodes théoriques.


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