PhD Women’s Studies (in progress), University of York - supervised by Professor Victoria Robinson
MA in Social Work, Liverpool Hope University and currently teaching there in Social Policy
Research has the power to define what counts as meaningful and worthy, and to produce valid subjects; research with fathers who have autistic children generally reflects culturally acceptable conceptualisations of fathering (and mothering) embedded in the typical, heterosexual family unit with its corresponding gender roles. Furthermore, men’s accounts of life with autistic children often incorrectly assumes fathers have ‘issues’ with care, disability or autism itself. Lack of reflexivity in analysis has led to an overly literal interpretation of what fathers say and an inadequate analysis of how fathering is constrained and organised by culture and context.
With these comments in mind, this research project seeks to examine the relationship between fathers and their autistic sons and daughters. It has a focus on 'practices' - the Everyday, routine activities that make up fathering, and seeks to address the following initial questions:
This study uses participant- generated visual ethnographic methods and narrative approaches and is underpinned by feminist disability theory, intersectional feminist theory and contemporary masculinities/ gender theory.