The Camera as a Device for Sociality: Photography and Young Male Adults with autism spectrum condition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Drawing on findings of a qualitative and exploratory study on the everyday photography of four young male adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this article examines the different ways the digital camera acts between ASD people and their social worlds. Performing as a mediator and filter, this chapter suggests that the camera facilitates autistic people’s being-in- the-world and that the medium is a way to extend perception and exercise some control over how ASD people experience the world. As a biologically based, lifelong neurological spectrum disorder, autism affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information, and relates to other people. ASD affects individuals in many different ways and to varying degrees with research demonstrating that autistic people do not look, perceive, or see in the same way. Hence, the camera provides a context in which participants are enabled to experiment with the medium in order to illustrate their ways of seeing, and diverse social and personal realities. Consequently, this chapter is concerned with photography as a cultural and social practice, and how the camera is interwoven with the rhetoric of seeing and the experience of other sensory modalities in people’s with ASD everyday life. Accordingly, while perception is intrinsic to being, and the lived body mediates the senses, this chapter demonstrates that the camera as a photographic technology is a supplement to perceiving the world, mediating individuals’ presence in the world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Camera as Actor
Subtitle of host publicationPhotography and the Embodiment of Technology
EditorsAmy Cox Hall
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge. Taylor & Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781003086932
ISBN (Print)9781350111974
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


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