Listening To Chaos - Paul Chain / Johar - Paul Chain / Johar Split (CD)
They are developing powerful information systems that pro- vide their owner s with vast databases that they can mine to identify market trends and utilize for targeted-promotional activity. New product innovation and creativity to leverage both the brand and the vast arrays of information that these global brand owners have at their disposal requires them to think in new ways about their business and the competition they face.
Owning assets is no longer as important a consideration as owning customers. This belief is evidenced by recent trends to restructure organizations and to outsource many of the functional and traditional activities previously regarded as essen- tial to the well-being of the organization. Efficient and effective supply chains are required to manage customer demand and brand operations. Customer relationship management is supported through e-commerce.
Organizations are focused on value creation rather than merely short-term profitability. Creating value streams is important as markets, marketing processes, supplier networks and operations throughout the globe become integrated through e-linkages in a complex chain moving parts, products and information around the network in order to meet customer demand. Different strategies are required to pur- sue this goal as time and distance shrink Cairncross, Internet strategies present opportunities to integrate complex supply chains from concept design to store, and on to the final consumer.
Markets and market opportunity may be both local and global. Organizations will be managing networks to leverage brand values and this can be achieved using global communication systems from anywhere in the world. According to Dickenp. These changes continue to cause intense political friction. Dickenp. Globalization: global markets and global supplies 15 Multinational companies build a strong local presence through sensitivity and responsiveness to national differences.
International companies exploit parent company knowledge and capabilities through worldwide diffusion and adap- tation, whereas global companies build cost advantages through centralized global-scale operations. As Ghoshal and Bartlettp. The term was interpreted in a variety of ways and given new meanings.
A Newsweek article offered advice to managers to reorganize and streamline their businesses by offer- ing standard global products and managing operations through a centrally co-ordinated home office, a method, it was stated, that the Japanese had used for years.
However, many managers and academics remained unconvinced by this formula of standardization, rationalization and centralization. It was true that for some Japanese companies the formula had worked, but it was equally true that for others it had not. Ghoshal and Bartlettp. The quest for global formulas was replaced by a search for fit. The dominant strategic requirement of the business and the develop- ment of strategic capabilities to match the requirement were seen as import- ant.
Nevertheless, the forces of global change act very differently on different industries, and any analysis of global strategy and organization must begin with an understanding of where the industry is placed. Levyp. Govindarajan and Guptap. This will become clearer as the chapter unfolds. It is, essentially, a quan- titative process which leads to a more extensive geographical pattern of economic activity. Globalization processes are quali- tatively different from internationalization processes.
They involve not merely the geographical extension of economic activity across national boundaries but also and more importantly the functional integration of such internationally dispersed activities. Globalization and its impact upon supplies Globalization as a phenomenon is itself a consequence of competitive pres- sures that have led textile and clothing producers towards an endless search for ways to lower production costs, first through efficiency measures often internal to a single organization or network of organizations locked in a continuous supply chain.
Second, the search for lower cost sources of sup- ply shifts production and organizations controlling production to offshore locations throughout the globe, where conditions are more favourable than in the home market where the products will be sold and consumed. Often, these global shifts have a devastating impact upon domestic markets, where production jobs are lost, investment declines and the trade balance worsens.
Investment declines not simply as a consequence of production erosion, but also in relative terms for those organizations that remain locked into industrial decline, because investors and governments are unwilling to take the finan- cial and political Listening To Chaos - Paul Chain / Johar - Paul Chain / Johar Split (CD) that investment in the future requires. This reduction in investment is a consequence of perceived increasing uncertainties. Being large when markets are saturated in domestic economies requires retailers to develop beyond their own geo- graphical boundaries.
For the very large retailing groups it is a matter of who can get to the future first. Who can dominate market share. These large retail groups have enormous purchasing power and are able to extract economies of scale from their operations and economies of scope from their existing and developing supply chains.
Globalization is not only identified through eco- nomic shifts, but also through cultural and social change that has been has- tened by rapid communication and transportation infrastructures. Consumer behaviour has changed as markets have converged.
For example, designers, range selectors, sourcing decisions and decisions about what merchandise to stock or replace will paradoxically limit consumer choice.
Adopting an inte- grated marketing approach is a necessary condition to achieving consumer satisfaction. Supply chain structures, strategies and processes are interdepend- ent upon and a corollary of consumer-demand patterns identified through market intelligence and marketing information.
Supply chains are in effect the corollary of demand chains. The phenomenon of globalization, conditions that give rise to it, and shape the structure, strategies and consequences are probably more transparently evi- dent in the textile and clothing industries than in many other sectors. Markets from Manchester to Manchuria and suppliers from Singapore to Sacramento are subject to the phenomenon of global forces and global shifts.
This is what makes fashion markets and fashion marketing an exciting area to study. The textile and clothing industries are both international and global in nature. It is clear that by any current definition of globalization these indus- tries qualify. Let us now turn attention to the place of the UK within this global market and first examine market definition.
For example, how do we define markets and what implications does this have for what we know about them? This is done according to product characteristics. The SIC codes were redefined inmaking some statistical comparisons to earlier periods more problem- atic, since some codes were merged and aggregated differently. Companies that comprise the industry tend to specialize in a sec- tor: menswear, ladieswear, childrenswear, knitwear, lingerie, street fashion, designerwear or accessories scarves, ties, hats and gloves.
SIC codes such as those used by the UK government are important and provide a mechanism for gathering statistics and supplying information about an industrial group- ing. Definitions about the types of organizations comprising the group are important if accurate statistical data are to be available.
Similarly, in other countries there are similar mechanisms for gathering statistics relating to these industries. Trade bodies also gather statistics about the industry and they too use government data.
However, it is also the case that it is difficult draw- ing comparisons across different countries or regions of the world when the definitions of firms comprising the industrial groupings differ. Furthermore, it may also be difficult when statistical data collection methods differ and esti- mates become less accurate.
The company has 3, stores in the US alone and each store employs as many as workers per store, and handles a rotating inventory ofplus items, delivered by a 6, fleet of trucks travelling over a billion miles in a year from distribution centres. Wal-Mart is listed as general merchandising store meaning that it sells mixed ranges of clothing, food and home-ware.
It is nevertheless, the largest seller of clothing by volume and value within the USA. Fortune also identifies fastest growing industries by revenue growth and profit growth. Apparel was number 32 in the list of fastest growing industries by the revenue measure and 19th by profit measure.
The best 5 and 10 year return-on-invest- ment list showed apparel ranked 12th and 6th respectively. Clothing sales in the UK for and as shown in Table 1.
Globalization: global markets and global supplies 19 Clothing specialist sales represents To put it another way it is just above the Sears-Roebuck turnover and just below Target turn- over in our listing of Fortune retailers. If the UK specialist clothing indus- try comprised a single retail group it would come in at around 35 in the list of large US corporations. Looking at a base year all prices rose by UK retail structure There are a number of different retail formats through which fashion is sold within the UK.
The relative importance of these formats is illustrated by the data displayed in Table 1. From composite data. The implications are considerable. Supermarkets and dis- counters together now account for nearly 43 per cent of the total volumes sold in This might suggest a number of possible alternative plausible explanations. For example, has fashion become less important than price in the mind of the consumer? Well possibly it has in terms of consumer expecta- tions.
Perhaps consumers simply expect better value for their money and the discounters and the supermarkets present that option. Alternatively, perhaps discounters and supermarkets are competing not simply on price but per- haps they are meeting the needs of consumers by introducing more fashion- able clothes but at more affordable prices by exercising their retail muscle to achieve purchasing economies that they are able in part to pass on to consum- ers.
Whatever the explanation it is having an impact upon other retail chan- nels as they struggle to compete particularly mail order, department stores and general stores. UK retail market size and market shares The most influential retail organizations in the UK clothing sector in terms of market shares is given in Table 1.
Companies owned by Philip Green listed in the table account for 7. Supermarkets are an interesting mar- ket development in the past 5 years since the first edition of this book was written they have increased their market shares consistently. Sainsbury with Tu have all developed their own successful clothing brands. Sainsbury although small relative to both Asda and Tesco have doubled their market share by value in 2 years and proportionately are growing faster than the other two supermarkets by this measure.
However, interestingly it is both Tesco and Asda-Wal-Mart that have grown volumes at a faster rate than any other organization in clothing retail.
In the same period Tesco increased its volumes from 4. Why should this be the case? Since the first edition of this book in the landscape for clothing has changed and supermarkets have captured a small but growing significant market share from traditional cloth- ing outlets.
Three major players have grasped the opportunity of growing supermarket fashion including accessories jewellery, bags, gloves, hats and shoes : Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury in order of importance putting invest- ment into finding ways of taking more money from the same consumer base. For the consumer there is no longer the stigma attached to buying fashion in a supermarket.
Consumers know and like a bargain when they see it. Perhaps the latter point being more important than the former. The one fact that becomes clear from Tables 1. Tesco increased volumes by more than 70 per cent and Asda-Wal-Mart by 30 per cent. Sainsbury maintained their volumes at 1 per cent. A number of smaller supermarkets combined account for around 2 per cent by volume. Some of the biggest losers in the rise of the supermarket as a serious clothing competitor have been some of the major high street specialist names like The Gap, Evans, Burtons and Dorothy Perkins.
The rapid growth of some of the discounters has also been halted with Matalan, Bon Marche and to a lesser extent Primark all feeling the chill wind of supermarket competition in some categories. Independent retailers have also lost out in the rise of supermarket fashion. Supermarkets have in many respects taken a fresh look at where they can extract value from their existing customer base.
They have then set about the task with the same efficiency they apply to sourcing and procurement of most other products. People over 50 years old often have a much lower self-perceived age and this influences purchasing behaviour. It would have been unthinkable just 20—30 years ago for mothers shopping for clothes with their daughters for fashion-wear, but today this is not so.
Similarly, the increasingly active older person is buying more casual wear for holidays and various activities they engage in. None of this has gone unnoticed by supermarket buyers and merchandisers keen to fill their increasingly larger retail spaces with more non-food ranges that poten- tially offer greater profitability. For example John Lewis customers are aged between 50 and 60 years and an average price index just under 2.
It is possible to profile particular patterns from such data. This type of data is used to segment fashion markets with the aim of targeting marketing communications. Source: Hines These topics are dealt with further and in more detail in the next two chapters. However, it is worth examining briefly the impact of global sourcing strategies in the context of the removal of quota restrictions.
Global production networks: global sourcing Prior to the removal of the ATC quota restrictions in Januarythe sour- cing of clothing was mainly influenced by quotas held in the sourcing coun- try and availability of raw materials was a secondary consideration. Vertical integrated production of textiles and clothing will provide an import- ant comparative advantage to clothing exporting companies and countries.
They usually involve all stages from initial concept, prod- uct development ending with the delivery of finished products. New global supply networks are being established by many of the larger savvy supply organizations with full packaged sourcing in mind. These global organizations want to manage all operations in the very way that Li and Fung pioneered.
Essentially the retail buyer goes to the full package operator who determines appropriate suppliers raw materials, components, manufacture, logistics, quality services, pre-retail services including labelling and packaging accord- ing to price, quality and capacity. For the retail buyer they only have to deal with one organization and the full package sourcing organization deals with the co-ordination problems of the various suppliers.
Globalization: global markets and global supplies 25 As a consequence of this trend some major retailers and brand names have already announced a drastic reduction in the number of their supplying coun- tries and partners. For example, Gap, which sources in 50 countries, have also indicated that in the future they will be able to choose their suppliers more freely and more carefully and to develop partnerships with them, focusing in particular on the improvement of labour practices ILO, Summary This chapter has given the reader an overview of some of the complexities and insights into the interconnectedness of your local high street retail stores with the global economy.
It began by defining fashion markets and fashion market- ing. It discussed the relative importance of textile and clothing manufacture in the context of the world economy. Importance measured by size of regional and country trade flows, employment and individual country earnings from exports and the cost of imports. It moved on to examine the impact of China with its phenomenal capacity to produce textiles and clothing.
India too is of great importance in this market place. The demise of the controlled market under WTO rules was discussed in some detail and an example was given to illustrate how rules, in any case, are often circumvented. Globalization as a phenomenon was dis- cussed in detail and illustrated the different perspectives that various com- mentators have towards a concept of globalization. Interconnectedness of the global to the local domestic economy of the UK retail sector was then exam- ined.
Particular trends were discernable which have come into being since the first edition of the book such as the rise of supermarket fashion and its growing importance. Finally the connection was made to global sourcing and the trend towards developing global production networks.
The next chapter moves on to discuss supply chain strategies, structures and rela- tionships in this connected world. References Barber, W. A History of Economic Thought. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Beynon, J. The Reader. London: Athlone Press. Cairncross, F. The Death of Distance. London: Orion Business Books. Central Bank of Sri Lanka Central Bank Report. Colombo: Sri Lanka. Dicken, P. Global Shift.
London: Paul Chapman. DTI London: Department of Trade and Industry. London: Random House Business Books. Govindarajan, V.
Setting a course for the new global landscape. Financial Times, 30 January, Section 1, Gray, J. London: Granta. Hines, T. Notions of practice: the case of the Sri Lanka Textile industry. Hofstede, G. Thousand Oaks: CA, Sage. Geneva; ILO. Global Employment Trends. Geneva: ILO. Jenkins, R. Pierre Bourdieu. Revised Edition, London: Routledge. Levy, B. Globalization and regionalisation: toward the shaping of a tripo- lar world economy?
Mattelart, A. Networking the World — Newsweek Oxfam Schirato, T. Understanding Globalization. London: Sage. Schumaker, E. SLAEA Sutherland, K. Adam Smith Wealth of Nations. Oxford: Oxford University Press. TNS Supermarket Clothing Statistics. London, TNS. World Bank Report Annual Report. New York, World Bank. WTO International Trade Statistics. New York, WTO. Probably even more so today than it was in when the first edition of this book appeared.
This chapter examines supply chain strategies, structures and relationships. It does so in the context of the international fashion industry and the devel- oping concepts and meanings of supply chain management. The emergence of the supply chain as a focal point for research, study and to develop both knowledge and a better understanding of the industry dynamics has devel- oped further since I wrote about globalizing supply chains in the first edition of the book Hines, a; b.
This chapter begins with the antecedents for supply chain management. It traces the roots back to operations manage- ment, economics of production and later the emergence of supply chain con- cepts within the discipline domains of marketing and strategy all of which are influenced by and have influenced the contemporary views of what supply chains and supply networks are in practice.
Supply chain structures are an important element of supporting the strategies. Arguments prevalent in the early strategic management literature as to which comes first, strategy or structure are as relevant today in a supply chain context as they were nearly 50 years ago in strategic management Chandler, For exam- ple, if the strategy is to achieve supply flexibility then what kind of supply chain structure is required? In formulating strategies and in developing appro- priate structures to support strategies it becomes apparent that relationships are a further important consideration.
Antecedents of supply chain management Supply chain management was a phrase first coined in the early s to describe the range of activities co-ordinated by an organization to procure and manage supplies Oliver and Webber, Initially, the term referred to an internal focus bounded by a single organization and how they sourced and procured supplies, managed their internal inventory and moved goods onto their customers Macbeth and Ferguson, The original focus was later extended to examine not simply the internal management of the chain Harland, It is recognized that there may be tiers of sup- pliers.
Additionally it is recognized that the organization may have a cus- tomer who has other customers where their supplies are incorporated into other products or bundled in a particular way to provide a different product. Four main descriptions of the term supply chain management have been reported in the literature Harland, which are: 1 The internal supply chain integrating business functions involved in a flow of materials and information from the point of entry to a business to the point of exit.
Note: the word constellation and a constellation diagram has been used by some to depict this relationship. Additionally, associated information and cash flows form part of supply chain activities. The first and earliest modern management approach to managing supply chains was clearly internally focused on improving product- ivity. The second wave of development was also mainly internally focused and an extension of the first concern with productivity to improve oper- ations. The third wave developed in the transport and distribution literature concerned with moving goods efficiently and this is now mainly synthesized and reported in the logistics literature.
The first three perspectives of man- aging supply chains concern themselves with efficiency and search for ways to improve efficiency. Latterly supply chains have been viewed as demand chains and the focus has shifted from the supplier towards the customer and what the customer requires.
Within this latter view it has been recognized that the network metaphor and nomenclature with its non-linear perspective may be better suited than that of a chain. Supply networks have developed, become more complex and as a conse- quence so too the boundaries of organizations have become less discrete and somewhat blurred Barney, Some commentators have gone further to suggest that this blurring of boundaries may mean that it is not organizations that are in competition any more but rather supply chains Christopher, Supply chains as a means of improving productivity of the firm The earliest concerns of management were focused on improving productiv- ity of the single firm.
Firms were seen as bounded systems in the economics literature. Within these systems it is desirable to maximize outputs from a given set of resource inputs. Hence productivity is an important economic measure of performance. Related to productivity was the growth of interest in quality, productivity and competitive position Deming, Supply chains as operations management Continuing the theme of productivity has been the focus of much of the sup- ply chain literature found in operations management.
Much has been written on the efficiency of operations and the associated lowering of inventories that can be better managed if operational improvements are made. Focus on inventories: peaks and troughs In the s a precursor to the supply chain literature that would later concern itself with the effect of demand was the work of Jay Forrester examining the impact of demand amplification at stages in the supply chain and the impact this could have upon inventories Forrester, Industrial management and purchasing and production management had a clear focus on inventory management.
For most manufacturing organizations inventories represented a significant proportion of their Balance Sheet value 50—60 per cent or more. Thus organizations that could reduce their inventory-holding cost could improve their competitiveness Jones and Riley, It has been demon- strated Wikner et al. Complexity may Listening To Chaos - Paul Chain / Johar - Paul Chain / Johar Split (CD) a function of product variation, non-standard production, increased system delays, number of linkages in the supply chain, complicated decision rules or simply changing decision rules, that is different sets of deci- sion rules, and poor use of information for whatever reasons e.
Furthermore, interactions between any of the actors in the supply chain may higher or lower complexity. Volume volatility adds to the complexity within supply chain systems. In commodity markets where standard goods are exchanged this is less of a problem because demand is easier to predict. Where volume volatility is most prominent in markets where fashion is a key element of demand.
Customers in these markets demand non-standard goods often in smaller volumes than would be the case for standardized products. For example, it is easier to pre- dict demand for tins of baked beans than for a particular style of dress with associated colour and size variations adding to the volatility of volumes.
Thus in mass markets with limited variety of offer to the customer the dynamics of supply chain systems may be easier to predict Hines, Supply chain strategies, structures and relationships 31 Supply chains as logistics Towards the end of the s the clear focus on operations alone was surpassed by a growing interest in distribution Oliver and Houlihan, In the early s moving towards this perspective became popular.
In this construction of supply chain management it was about managing performance, productivity and market supply through distribution Christopher, ; Supply chains as a means of meeting customer demand It was not until the mids that commentators began to think of supply chains in terms of front-end market demand Fisher et al. A capability to manage supply chains can prove to be a core competence for an organization. There are numerous examples of business success and failure being dependent on supply chain capabilities.
One important aspect of their development has been their ability to build relationships with organizations external to Amazon who already possessed capability to fulfil their promo- tional promises. The shift in analytic focus over time is illustrated in Table 2.
Table 2. For a much thorough discus- sion of supply chain strategies see Hines Strategic sourcing decisions Sourcing centres on supplier selection, planning: design, specifications, pur- chases, manufacturing and deliveries. Delays in any of the elements of the sourcing process have implications for the throughput in the supply chain.
Sourcing is the first stage of any supply chain cycle. Sourcing precedes any procurement and is part of the procurement cycle. Supplier selection and pur- chasing are an important part of any supply chain strategy.
Strangely, how- ever, there is a paucity of literature relating to sourcing decisions in relation to fashion given its significance to managing supply chains. It has been noted that retailers often use existing suppliers to design and develop new products Lui and McGoldrick, Sourcing in a fashion context necessarily means global influences are strongly evident.
There have been a number of different theoretical propositions that purport to explain sourcing in terms of inter- national trade, foreign direct investment FDIoffshore production, product life cycles and strategy Swamidass, The value chain has also been used as one approach to make sourcing decisions Kotabe and Omura However, none of these theoretical models sufficiently explains the com- plex nature of modern sourcing by fashion retail organizations.
Lui and McGoldrickp. They conclude that it is a combination of low factor cost and product attributes that determine sourcing decisions. This statement, however, appears to ignore strategies that require quick response QR. Nevertheless, maybe it reflects practice since the most prevalent reason for making a sourcing decision given by retail buyers in the UK is cost price.
My own research in this area reveals that even in circumstances where they mention other reasons they are of secondary importance. This is especially the case in price sensitive markets. Market conditions usually imply that the apparel has low design content or alternatively the purchaser does not pay the full price for the design element. For example, there have been a number of high profile disputes between high street retailers, supermarket retailers and the originators of design concepts.
In instances where merchandise is essentially non-fashion market rules are governed simply by commodity trading i. However, the contemporary paradox of fash- ion markets is that fashion is not necessarily expensive.
Consumers are not afraid to mix and match either, no sense of customer loyalty here. So where to source: local or global? Well the answer to this question depends on the strategy. If your strategic focus is to achieve lowest cost you would need to source from a supplier who would help you do that. It may not matter where in the world the sup- plier is located or would it? Well not if you simply specify a contract price the supplier has to meet, along with delivery schedules the supplier has to meet too.
However, there may be more uncertainty and there may be higher risk involved. Nor is it easy to know about or overcome disrup- tions to supply — strikes, tsunami, customs impounding merchandise, tariff disputes, accidents on the high seas, delays, other problems of manufacture.
Things are always more difficult to manage at a distance even in the age of the Internet and advanced information communication systems. One manager told me it is easier, faster and cheaper to transmit errors but it still takes time to sort them out because it usually involves face-to-face interaction. Maybe distance is not dead after all Cairncross, If on the other hand your stra- tegic objective is to satisfy customers and earn a reasonable profit in so doing it may be appropriate to source closer to market to catch a trend.
Hence it may be appropriate to source more locally. The premise here would be that what you incur by way of higher cost is set against faster lead times for delivery of the product. Thus if time is an important part of achieving your competi- tive advantage then it would be sensible to make the trade-off.
Uncertainties may be lower from local supply sources because you may be in more regu- lar contact. Hence establishing relationships may lead to improving competi- tiveness. Nevertheless, for each of these arguments I am putting forward you could equally present the opposite argument and you might be right given the particular circumstances. This is why the herd-like decision-making that takes place in many retail organizations is problematic.
The discourse of many retail organizations has been about lowering intake cost to improve retail margins. No question here about being a better retailer in terms of knowing their customer and how to meet their needs bet- ter. Not much marketing here! However, catching a trend, buying cheap and hope you sell through is probably a relatively good description. Thus the herd-like obsession with low cost decision instinctive approaches is prob- lematic for most and it has major consequences for other organizational stake- holders: suppliers, shareholders and maybe ultimately the retail employees.
This is a plea for strategic difference. If fashion suggests difference then why are so many fashion retail organizations oblivious to it? The iceberg theory of costs and opportunity The focus on offshore sourcing has increased during the past 15 years as a way to lower costs.
However sourcing offshore may be ignoring some key data rele- vant to the decision-making process. The Iceberg beneath the waterline contains a number of hidden costs that are often ignored the view from the bridge. These hid- den costs could be substantial.
Furthermore, these costs are often disguised or never traced back to the stock-keeping units SKUs. Examples of some of the hidden costs are given in the model. Costs include: procurement, management time consumed in acquisition and monitoring progress or in re-work. More importantly something that is hardly ever measured is lost sales due to late delivery or incomplete delivery wrong-size ratios, style mix, colour mix. Procurement costs Evidence from a number of retail fashion buyers who spend a significant amount of their time travelling abroad to search for new products suggests that the cost is not unimportant.
Buyers often spend 2 or more months trav- elling to source merchandise during any given year. The cost includes air- fares, hotel bills, telephone calls and subsistence payments not to mention the human cost of broken relationships, loneliness and fatigue measures that reflect in staff turnover measures.
Furthermore, if one considers the time spent against orders placed there will be times when the cost of procurement is extremely expensive and significantly more than the final invoiced bought in price, which may be the only cost that is measured. Thus procurement costs may never be traced back to products. Such costs are more likely to reside in an overhead category of large organizations. What is more such costs may be allocated or apportioned arbitrarily to products that did not incur the costs, if they are allocated or apportioned at all.
Management time Management time is consumed communicating with suppliers before acqui- sition, during acquisition and post acquisition. The number of managers involved and the amount of time spent can be significant. Major retail organ- izations have teams of managers that co-ordinate activities with offshore sup- pliers. The time spent is not always traced back to the products that are consuming this resource. Opportunity cost of lost sales By far the greatest cost and perhaps the most significant part of the iceberg could be the opportunity cost of lost sales.
If merchandise is not available within a store at the time the consumer wants to buy it the sale is lost. Not to worry you will have the lowest-cost merchandise in your warehouse when it finally arrives. Although consumer behaviour theory might suggest substitu- tion of one product for another this may not happen within the same retail store. Substitution may unwittingly help competitors to achieve a sale. This part of the iceberg is where an offshore supplier is at greater disadvantage.
Onshore suppliers are closer to market and a short delay in production will not necessarily result in late delivery or incomplete delivery, whereas a delay in production from an overseas source would more probably result in missing a shipping date.
Typically it takes 8—12 weeks to source from a far eastern source whereas it will be 4—6 weeks from the UK and perhaps just one week more from Morocco, Portugal, Egypt and Eastern Europe. Figure 2. Assuming that the iceberg costs for a UK supplier are less significant than for an overseas supplier would suppose that UK suppliers could build on strengths that an overseas source would find it difficult to achieve.
Yet, as later citations will show, there are innumerable autistic individuals emerging in literary areas, and in this chapter, I begin to outline why their wider recognition is beneficial to both autistic and neurotypical communities.
But there is also a deeper reason to interrogate both scientific and cultural notions that autistic people are unable to identify with or express themselves via fiction. In recent scientific discourse and diagnostic texts, such assump- tions reinforce a still more oppressive preconception: that autistic people, by definition, lack imagination. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination. The most prominent research on autism and empathy itself has been authored by Baron-Cohen — who, from outside, defines autistic thought as a predisposition to systemizing, the effective cost of which is impairment in empathizing.
These include questions relating to visualizing processes imagination, pretend play but only with othersempathizing and the enjoy- ment and comprehension of fiction. The answers are scored in such a way that imagination itself is exclusively equated with neurotypicality.
However, a more complex process is at work and one which the dominant scientific discourse around autism seldom acknowledges. In short, autistic people are assumed to lack imagination because their expressions of it may not conform to neurotypical expectations.
Yet, as with the double empathy problem, this also signifies a limitation or impairment of imagina- tion on the part of neurotypicals — including, as Milton suggests, the authors d.
However, some prominent neuro- typical voices in autism discourse are beginning to advocate more empathic viewpoints. One of the more innovative commentaries on autism from outside is Jonathan Alderson Challenging the Myths of Autism The author is a Toronto-based childhood autism consultant. Alderson emphasizes that orthodox psychiatry has dismissed the presence of autistic imagination simply because it shows itself differently from neurotypi- cal imagination.
Yet the same boy was observed to enjoy walking backwards, apparently imitating the sensation of riding in a train. I did so because that was how I often saw cars and lorries: in processions, on roads.
Perhaps this literalism indicated lack of imagination. Yet to me, this ritual was a gateway into imagination itself. Kneeling above these toys, I was not merely imagining but seeing and hearing them as if they were actual vehicles, the size of reality. I imagined I was somehow above this scene, and seeing the hedges, the church and the bench, as this whole convoy rolled along. Then my entire upper body flinched, as my flapping hands were grabbed by those of the nursery teacher, Ms Atwood not her real name.
My whole imagined scene disappeared as I was led back to the seated area to pretend to listen to a story. As we shall see, science has proven itself more interested in how autistic adults systemize than how we empathize. Nonetheless, since com- puter technologies are created according to systems, often for the function of creating further systems, it makes logical sense that a computer scientist with Asperger syndrome is presented as a case study alongside a mathematician and a physicist in an early journal article on autism and systemizing skills by Baron-Cohen et al.
Therefore, I will first discuss how the figure of the adult autist as the computer-esque computer programmer emerged in broadcasting, journalism and cinema. However, the earliest contemporary cultural associations of autistic minds with computers occurred in the mids, following various media profiles of savant twin brothers George and Michael Flinn.
For in the s, a new labour-saving computer device was appearing in workplaces internationally: the desktop calculator, introduced in Popular associations of the autistic mind with machinery have since developed in loose accordance with technological progress and its social and cultural impact. The same handy trope of autistic intelligence persists into the 21st century. Numbers constitute an infinite system that transcends regional language boundaries.
Numbers are mysterious because they have no known limits. But this is a burdensome expectation to place onto autistic people — including brilliant autistic mathematicians. When another contestant later discovers him slashing his arm with a razor, Luke begins to describe how his parents explained autism to him. InTammet performed a record-breaking recital of pi, from memory, to 22, accurate digits.
Computers imitate certain functions of human minds: not vice versa. Ultimately, skills for numeracy and memory in autistic people, however spectacular, have more in common with neurotypical minds than with computers. However, this obviousness remains largely dormant in cultural d. Computers have no rights. The nearest thing to human feeling embodied by a computer is exhaustion.
Computers are here to serve — until a more efficient model arrives, or the present one expires. It is also important to consider the vulnerability of autism itself as a way of being at the present time of technological development. Yet even right now, scientific constructions of autism appear to be unconsciously exercising what could become a narrative arm of eugenics.
But what happens if we rearrange the nominal focal points of this scientific research? What if prenatal testing — or engineering — eventually enables science to predict and influence the social and economic function of autistic adults? Alongside its surveys of adult autistic traits and STEM talent, the ARC is leading longitudinal research into autism and fetal hormones.
But worryingly, eugenic agendas are now being implicated with the condition. The same council has approved the rejection of male embryos from families in which autism is present owing to the fact that autism is more often diagnosed in males.
We cannot know. However, increasingly urgent questions remain. How is autism being named and narrated in science and culture? Although many such cultural configurations of the Aspergic ICT informa- tion and computer technology specialist remain repressive, the association marks an evolving recognition of the presence and power of autism, even and perhaps especially when belying hostility towards autistic.
However, before looking at Microserfs more closely, the cultural context that spawned this innovative novel requires brief consideration. As mass access to information technology progressed from pocket calculators to personal computers, popular metonyms for autistic minds similarly evolved. Indeed, the male computer geek is most popular in culture when his portrayal is stripped of both physical strength and adult emotion. In different ways, the manufacturing and reproduction of stereotypes is at work in these narratives or, at least, in their legacies.
What must also be named here is the compellingly yet conspicuously anecdotal essence of these texts — and the inevitability that observations which are difficult to prove accurate are often similarly difficult to prove wrong. Thus, anecdotal evidence can be peculiarly harder to counter than organized science not least because the former tends to reach a much vaster audience. Nonetheless, as the following discussion proceeds, we will also see that some key autistic voices not only support popular association of ICT talent with autism but importantly stress the role of computers in the formation of autistic community.
A very positive and seemingly representative viewpoint on this is quoted by Silberman Carolyn Baird, who in became manager of Autism List, one of the first major online autism resources, commented: Autistic people seem to have an affinity with computers and many of them were already working in computer-related fields prior to the advent of the Internet. Many autistic people have no access to computers. And for older autistic adults who were not taught IT at school, the prospect of learning to use a laptop may seem insurmountably complex or, indeed, simply unnec- essary.
In and for its time, Microserfs was genuinely progressive as an early por- trayal of autism less as impairment than mere difference. It is also compelling as a novel promoted with reference to its informal but immersive research. Coupland has described how, while planning the book, he spent six months living among software programmers, observing them as they worked and socialized.
However, as in most subsequent autism fiction, one character Michael is singled out as much more overtly autistic. With similar prescience for fictional autistic char- acters, Michael has no formal diagnosis, yet his manner, routines and talent both distinguish and isolate him from others. Microserfs explores how far the human brain — but particularly the autistic brain — resembles a computer. Interspersed with pages of software coding, Microserfs reminds us how such texts are literature for Michael: full of elegance, precision and wonder, they create connections between the self, others and the wider world.
In such ways, the novel points to how being autistic and preferring programming to reading fiction is not to show lack of imagination but simply to exercise it in another way. Microserfs also recognizes the power of the computer as a social and even emotional prosthetic: Michael falls in love over the World Wide Web. Microserfs and its sequel JPod juxtapose autism with ICT careers, yet by cautiously suggesting in his biography of Marshall McLuhan that the English literature professor turned media theorist had Asperger syndrome, Coupland indirectly shows how autistic subjectivities can yield innovation in the humanities.
In some of the more subtle invocations of autism, the central character of Jimmy a word person, viewed by numbers people as neurotypical displays certain social struggles associated with Asperger syndrome. This is the eponymous Crake of the first novel: a numbers person and recklessly amoral scientist who almost totally obliterates the human race and replaces it with a laboratory-created species, the Crakers.
These ends include the removal of art and literature from the world. One of those effectively excluded is Jimmy, whose perspective dominates Oryx and Crake including the above quotation. The character of Crake and his checklist-like embodiment of millennial autistic features is thus viewed primarily accord- ing to Jimmy — whose feelings towards Crake are motivated by intellectual and later, sexual jealousy.
The first is the continued prominence of autistic traits in Crake. An intervening development was the increased attention to Asperger syndrome. While Coupland names autism but not Asperger syndrome, Atwood does almost the opposite. Oryx and Crake marks the association of autism with STEM becoming culturally naturalized: that is, taken as read.
And, by the time of its publication, such beliefs were encoded in widely used screening tests for autism. He states that autism is more prevalent in maths students than humanities students a suggestion to which I will return. He stresses that his findings do not mean that all scientists have autism — nor that all autistic people are scientifically talented.
Back inWired maga- zine suggested that there might be a link between autism and scientific talent. The idea actually goes back to Hans Asperger. Crediting Hans Asperger, the quote invokes vintage yet resounding author- ity. The source of this sound bite as presented remains mysterious. Asperger later made a similar statement — but with d. First, there is his conceptualizing of autism as a predisposition to systemiz- ing rather than empathizing.
Here, I focus on his premise of systemizing as a prerequisite for STEM subjects and, more critically, on his tendency to dismiss the possibility that autism can in many people — even if they remain a minority — coexist with literary sensibilities and, indeed, with forms of empathy. UCARC established its pursuit of a link between autism and STEM talents in a journal article, asserting a connection between engineering and autism.
InUCARC extended its focus with a further experiment: a survey asking about the number of people diagnosed autistic in the families of mathematics, physics and engi- neering students compared with literature students. In families of maths, engineering or physics students, 6 autism cases were reported.
In families of literature students, only 1 autism diagnosis was recorded. Is it appropriate that a questionnaire designed nearly twenty years ago continues to be used — with no amendments since — as both a preliminary screening tool and the basis of a national study of autistic traits?
Strength of agreement or d. The list of statements has since remained unaltered and is still used for both research and diagnostic purposes.
It allowed the authors to test if scientists differed from students in the humanities, given earlier reports Baron-Cohen et al. But were these pur- poses and results entirely without conflict?
In DecemberWired published the AQ test online, making it acces- sible to audiences beyond academia. This is troubling, given that the test was designed in part to assess mathematicians specifically.
Amid statements on preferences and skills relating to routine, conversation, friendship and socializing, four statements directly involve numeracy and four concern literacy. Literacy, meanwhile, has been categorized — or dismissed — as an indicator of neurotypicality.
Responses suggesting comprehension and enjoyment of literature do not positively contribute to autism quota. To convey a dislike of or disin- clination to reading fiction adds to Autism Quota. But how reliable is the evidence involved? The Cambridge University students on whom the test was trialled included working in sciences, in humanities and in social sciences. Baron-Cohen et al.
Within the sciences, mathemati- cians scored highest. But can the AQ trial as reported in really be said to confirm the study when the subsequent questionnaire did not include any questions about fam- ily occupations? With the summarized ambiguities of the AQ test in mind, some things remain to be asked and answered.
My definition of truth is neither mystical, nor divine, nor is it obscured by unneces- sary philosophical complexity. Truth is pure and simply repeatable, verifiable patterns. It is insightful here to note a more radical posi- tion on repeatable patterns from Paul Feyerabendphilosopher of sci- ence and methodology: Hypotheses contradicting well-confirmed theories give us better evidence that cannot be obtained in any other way.
Proliferation of theories is beneficial for science, while uniformity impairs its critical power. Uniformity also endangers the free development of the individual. Conspicuously, the AQ test continues to be used for research, for entertainment and even for diagnostic screenings. By contrast, none of the 20 categories listed mention the arts, culture or the d.
Nor does the list offer a clear option of answering unemployed and this at a time when it is estimated by the National Autistic Society that fewer than one in six autistic adults are in full-time employment. Then the previous two sections, on the work of Baron-Cohen and the UCARC, delineated how, in the past two decades, similar suppositions became encoded Listening To Chaos - Paul Chain / Johar - Paul Chain / Johar Split (CD) scientific narratives and diagnostic tools concerning adult autism, most recently, in a report on the supposed national profile of autistic traits in the UK.
Through- out the chapter so far, I have pointed towards oversights and contradictions in how such dismissals of autistic imagination have been constructed. In the following three sections, I present some of the actual, factual evidence that the name of autism can — and, originally, did — encompass the possession and expression of literary imagination in many individuals. Re-membering: this term, first used in relation to disability by Helen Daviesrefers to an imaginative and critical process.
To re-member is to consciously implicate history in present-day values: it is to reflect on how the past is speaking to us now. Davies is deeply attentive to the ethical complexities of this process: would these people have wanted to be made the subjects of published narratives after their death?
The era on which I focus ca. But the main realm that separates the present from certain of the individuals portrayed by Asperger is not that of time but that of discourse in science and culture, and the capacity of narrative to select or ignore.
However, my focus is only partially on individual lives. The essential re-membering I hope to promote concerns autistic imagination and thus the meanings of autism itself.
Nonetheless, individual lives remain integral to this process, for what I am ultimately emphasizing is the diversity of autistic subjectivity.
First, Wing suggested that Asperger overestimated the imagina- tive flair that autistic people could show for verbal expression. But before discussing these points of divergence, we need to appreciate the somewhat oppositional agendas of Asperger and Wing It has been suggested that Asperger deliberately profiled the most intellectually able cases of autism to save autistic children at large from the very real threat of execution under the Nazi regime.
However, both clinicians were funda- mentally concerned with the welfare of autistic people. Dr Lorna Wing — was a psychiatrist whose daughter Susie — was diagnosed with autism aged three. In this context, Wing reinforces her assertion in her article with Gould of impaired imagination as a formal diagnostic criterion for autism.
The unusual quality of their approach arises from. Here, Wing named Albert Einstein as a candidate for retrospective diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research. It is possible that Asperger may have emphasized or even exagger- ated the talents of certain autistic individuals in his care in order to protect them from the Nazis.
Asperger makes similar assertions in his seminal and, regarding other observations, most frequently cited paper. He continues: Autistic individuals can judge accurately the events represented in the picture, as well as what lies behind them, including the character of the people repre- sented and the mood that pervades a painting.
Asperger reported the responses of four child patients to fictional narratives. Varying in amounts of detail, these summaries accumulatively suggest that, overall, autistic engagement with stories was less indicative of talent than responses to maths tests. However, one of his main case studies provides evidence firmly and clearly to the contrary. Prior to his paper, Asperger and his colleagues observed over children who showed signs of autism. As this observation suggests his reading comprehension was excellent.
It is regrettable that even with consideration of his possible political agenda behind the article, such observations by Asperger have received so little acknowledgement in later scientific discourse. First, they testify that in two of the very first individuals identified as autistic on different continents, aptitude for interpreting and creating fictional narratives was evident.
What Harro showed Asperger — and shows us — is not just the evidence of autistic imagination but the fact that autistic ability can manifest in diverse ways, outside the dominant expectations.
Scientific researchers of autism ever since have neglected to acknowledge these let alone discuss them. Certainly, his sum- maries of responses to paintings and stories provide a more rounded profile of autistic intelligence than his reports of mathematical and scientific aptitude alone would have done. Could Asperger have stressed those abilities above artistic talents because they present more obviously utilitarian functions within society? A six-year-old Austrian girl referred to Asperger in was Elfriede Jelinek.
InJelinek — a year-old novelist, poet and playwright — won the Nobel Prize for litera- ture. Asperger did not diagnose Elfriede Jelinek as autistic in the end. But it is not the condition of autism itself that impairs or dismembers imagination: it is only narratives of culture and science that have done so.
Writing in the profoundly fraught political context of Europe in the early s, Asperger asserted at length the various talents seen in many autistic children, evidencing his will to stress the value of autism itself to society.
Most researchers concur that he was fundamentally opposed to Nazism. On 2 SeptemberHerta died at the Spiegelgrund clinic, a day after her third birthday.
Yet I am struck by some- thing further: much of the preceding quotation actually seems more immedi- ately relevant to many autism researchers than to autistic people. One such researcher is Silberman himself. Neurotribes establishes the profile of the adult autist as a science genius by focusing his first chapter on the lifestyle and achievements of physicist Henry Cavendish — Like Oliver Sacks and, more substantially, Ioan James, Silberman theorizes that Cavendish was what we now would call autistic.
Neurotribes emphasizes autistic talent, achievement and implicitly potential, but almost exclusively in STEM traditions. Unsurprisingly, Silberman stresses the science element in the said genre when discussing its possible appeal to autistic minds. Neurotribes cites reflections on a link between autistic experience and the consolations of the genre from one of its major historians and criticsGary Westfahl.
He proceeds to argue that conventions within science fiction have developed in ways that may leave it less pertinent to autistic perspectives, outlining how, since the s, the genre has adjusted to place a greater emphasis on conventional, well-adjusted characters who happily function in social situations. That was a lifesaving message for a kid who got bullied for being different. The quotations from Westfahl and Greenburg indicate how the other-worldly scenarios of science fiction are precisely what chimes via metaphor with some autistic experiences of loneliness and separation from a neurotypically dominated society.
The obvious oversight is that autistic people are actually far more vulnerable to the actions of neurotypicals than vice versa. Inthe mas- sive U. However, individuals from the online autistic community have asserted various critical responses to Oryx d. Just typing that really brings home to me how profoundly unrealistic a scenario it is, not only in terms of the kind of worker employers tend to value, but also in its crude understanding of autism.
Basically, mad geniuses. And this seems to be a highly stereotypical view. As such, they present important demon- strations of autistic critical agency — autistic literary critical agency, no less.
This marks a sometimes liberating, sometimes problematic development in both scientific and cultural narratives of autism addressed in the following chapters. Let us look at the naming and focus largely on four letters contained within it: sySTEMizing.
I present this typographically ungainly nomenclature not to signify autistic thinking itself but the distorted, distorting ways in which influential scientific and cultural narratives have conceptualized autistic minds from outside. If we keep on looking at sySTEMizing with priority to one part however essentialthe fuller meanings of systemizing itself are lost.
As I pedantically stated earlier, without small details, we cannot have the whole picture. Thus, my point here is that the repeated association of adult autists with STEM tal- ent risks disregarding or even denying the wider reaches of autistic thought and feeling. This applies to the study as well as the creation of literature. Take a sonnet, for example. There are many different kinds, but nearly all adhere to — or involve awareness of — different systems of interre- lating rules and patterns, including how many syllables per line, the position- ing of rhymes at particular points, the sequencing of stressed and unstressed syllables and a good deal more besides.
More vastly, poetry is a system of tradition and experiment: two qualities it shares with science. But poetry is also more intimately conducive and gratifying to autistic senses and sensibili- ties than tends to be recognized.
Reading, speaking and writing it can create a kind of verbal stimming — a sort of dance between the mouth and mind. Not unlike autism itself, poetry can flourish outside of the norms of linguistic expression. And, as later chapters will consider, poetry — including poems written by autistic authors — is a system which creates and enables discussion, understanding and experience of both imagination and emotion.
Language itself is also a system: one that shapes our perceptions — and, for the conceiv- able future, one that is crucial to the definitions, and the diagnosis, of autism. When systemizing is allowed to be informed by emotion, we have critical thinking. But it is also worth considering the deeper commonal- ity between the scientific and fictional narratives of autism.
That these scientific, fictional and journalistic narratives were composed independently from one another seems to legitimize each, thus strengthening the impression that autism is more prevalent, or at least more visible, in adults who devote themselves to STEM careers. Yet the scientific and literary narratives of autism critiqued have more in common than the mere repetition and dissemination of the STEM association.
In essence, what these particular selections from both forms of autism discourse share is an element of fiction itself. My point is that the dominant contemporary nar- ratives of autism from Baron-Cohen and Silberman are based on extensively researched facts — yet facts themselves are abstracts, drawn from a wider, infinitely complex perhaps ultimately unknowable reality.
These factual accounts, like the fictional narratives discussed, do not present an automati- cally false or fantastical set of circumstances, but a concentrated, meaningful and indeed illuminating distillation of human experience. Nonetheless, the problem with these factual narratives, as also with the literary ones, lies less in what is emphasized than what and who amid this process is denied. I am simply highlighting the limitations of certain influential and still valuable scientific models of adult autism, and suggesting that we should continue to critically debate the repetitive emphasis underpinning this collusion of literary and scientific texts.
Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility! They appear to be accurate but still mostly incomplete. Hans Asperger, on whose work UCARC draws substantially, suggested that for success in art, as well as sci- ence, a dash of autism is essential. Asperger also reported that many autistic individuals showed engagement — in effect, imaginative engagement — with art and literature, particularly Harro: one of the key case studies Asperger presented to introduce different, as well as shared, facets of autism.
Such assumptions have ramifications not just for scientific research on autism but for recogni- tion or not of the diversities of autistic ability within academia and culture more broadly. As the media-pleasing mainstream of scientific discourse continues inter- pellating people including, crucially, autists themselves that autistic subjec- tivities can flourish only within STEM parameterswe face an increasing d. This process risks implicating autistic individuals in something approaching a scientifically endorsed nar- rative process of cultural and economic eugenics.
It is not just a matter of possibly impairing and disabling autistic communities by discouraging indi- viduals within them from pursuing arts, humanities or social science subjects all of which can add to and deepen understandings of autism.
It is also a matter of impoverishing culture at large by indirectly marginalizing autistic voices from spheres including politics, literature and journalism, as well as academia itself. And it scarcely needs emphasizing here that although pro- gression is evident, authentic autistic voices remain severely marginalized from the public life as it is.
At times, the dominant emphasis on systemizing as the foundation of autis- tic subjectivity seems to say more about medical science — and how scientists construct autistic thinking according to their own values — than it does about the realities and varieties of autism.
Thus, my conclusion to this chapter is ultimately a question. If autism research remains dominated almost exclusively by scientists — and mostly neurotypical scientists at that — then how can the sum of academic knowledge on autism ever approach anything like completeness? See also Eagleton, T. However, this subjectivity is, paradoxically, one reason why his ideals of curing autism may be premature. Kindle edition. See also Silberman, Neurotribes, The Lancet : —6.
See Jack, Autism and Gender, —14, for an insightful critique of the article. Original emphasis. For the findings cited, see —9. See Asperger, 49, 55, 88, for his com- ments on autism and mathematics. Wing later expanded on such points, though with only slight modifications. See Wing, Lorna. Asperger a Nazi? Donvan and Zucker also cite an unpublished paper that Czech submitted to Molecular Autism in See also Atwood, In Other Worlds.
Kindle location 1—6. For autistic perspectives on this development, see Autism Self Advocacy Network. There is contrastingly little public recognition that the experience of pregnancy and the lifestyle changes it creates may pres- ent particular sensory and other adjustments for women with autism or Asperger syndrome.
The possibility and evidence that some autistic schoolchildren or university students can eventually become teachers or academics continues to elude recognition in the public sphere. The neglected fact here is that while autistic youngsters will always be autistic, they will not always be young. The adult thus remains the most socially and professionally marginalized of all autistic identities.
Eight decades after the first scientific definitions of autism emerged, knowledge of the condition is still in its medical and cultural infancy. It is therefore unwittingly apt that the figure of the child remains the presiding cultural signifier of autism and, problematically, this is usually the white male child.
Chil- dren, particularly autistic children, are vulnerable: thus, as Murray discusses, the image of a child is more likely to elicit charitable support. A society and culture that presumes to be attentive to autism but focuses only on children 69 d. This book thus prioritizes narratives and portray- als of adult autism, but in order to highlight the complexities of this identity, the present chapter gives particular attention to cultural and scientific texts addressing transitions from childhood into adulthood.
Social and emotional vulnerability does not always lessen with age in autism. In early adulthood especially, new challenges and pressures emerge at precisely the point where Listening To Chaos - Paul Chain / Johar - Paul Chain / Johar Split (CD) is expected and where professional support lessens drastically or is withdrawn entirely.
How- ever, this does not mean that I adopt, in a reductive sense, a purely social model of autism. However, the rea- son why this chapter primarily critiques how autism has been theorized and narrated and in those ways constructed is that social, medical and cultural realms can potentially be reshaped to create more progressive and accepting approaches to autism.
Many facets of experience and identity as confronted in this chapter are made more disabling for autistic adults by the ways in which these are other- ized. In identifying such processes, I recurrently turn to a metaphor and object which has held intriguing pres- ence in portrayals of autism, both from autists and from neurotypicals, both in literature and in science: the mirror.
Medical knowledge of autism remains seriously incomplete, and as will be discussed, the prevalence of metaphor in the related scientific discourse frequently correlates with areas of mystery and speculation. This chapter also contemplates autism in relation to a more immediate point of metaphor, mystery and speculation: I refer to the spectrally vague, inherently subjective d. In an indispensable contribution to disability studies, Enforcing NormalcyLennard J.
Davis critiques the emergence and power of normal as a concept. But normal, as an idea, can itself be regarded as a tool: a means of promoting and reinforcing conformity.
And, by the same lines of logic, so can certain notions of disability — in particular, autism. To be called autistic — clinically, casually or even jokingly — is to be called by a name which, in both medicine and culture, is still predominantly associated with impairment, deficiency and, of course, abnormality.
Autism acts as a conceptual mirror to normalcy in a vast and evolving series of ways. Then there is the verbal mirroring: the learn- ing, via vocal and often visual mimicry, of how to make and repeat certain sounds, forming words. Autism, then, is not a mirror of neurotypical behaviours. But autism is a mirror of neurotypical expectations. This does not end with childhood. In an historical era when conformity is rewarded — and is good for the economy or, at least, that of the rich — there all too easily emerges an expectation of recognizing facets of oneself, if not d.
Disability disrupts this expectation of a mirror-like image. And, in the past two decades, Listening To Chaos - Paul Chain / Johar - Paul Chain / Johar Split (CD) has become arguably the most prominent and sensationalized of all disabilities across literature, television, cinema and popular science. Few might deny that to be autistic is to experience a genuine and some- times painful distinction from the majority of people. Oth- ering is a process of narrative and therefore power through which a group is positioned as inferior or threatening to an implied norm.
The texts critiqued in chapter 1 exemplified this through their implications that autistic people, by definition, lack imagination. Otherizing people into a homogenous mass denies their individuality and, thus, their humanity.
Other- izing the population or rulers of a nation makes it easier to elicit support for its invasion or colonization, and killing or maiming innocent people in the process. Combatting Autism Act Projection allows a dominant group to deny what it dislikes in itself by defining such traits as attributes of the other.
More broadly, othering enables hegemony to rule over two groups: the other, but, simultaneously, the normal subjects. Showing otherized traits in oneself brings the risk of being treated as an outsider, a traitor or even an enemy of normalcy. However, dominant groups are also dependent on the presence of otherness. Thus, without negative yet reassuring notions of otherness, normalcy itself cannot be sustained.
As will be shown in this chapter, ableist narratives sometimes use autism as another form of mirror. Normalcy cannot maintain its power unless it d. Autism has proven an unusually compelling notion of such otherness. Autism is much more than mere social difference: it is cerebral, it is sensory and it is physical. Often, however, it is towards social difference that normalcy looks in order to confirm — and groom — its own identity.
Through the following discussions, aided by narra- tives from within autism communities, I want to metaphorically pick up the mirror, stand behind it and hold it back up to some of the values questionably projected onto autism. Although advanced or even savant skills in autistic children are culturally celebrated, other expressions of maturity are sometimes dis- couraged, most conspicuously where speech is concerned.
For instance, ina New York child psychiatrist describing traits of Asperger syndrome in a news article remarked of a nine-year-old patient: There was something very strange about him. Roses Of Winter. Moment Of Rage. She Tomy My I. Violence of the Sun. Thanks for rating : Prozac 5.
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