Shelter from the Norm: Autism, Virtuality and Embodiment

Navn på bevillingshaver

David Ekdahl


University of Exeter, United Kingdom.


DKK 700,000




Internationalisation Fellowships


The proposed project, Shelter from the Norm: Autism, Virtuality and Embodiment, aims to explore and analyze the experienced significance of online spaces, specifically as affording novel and important forms of social embodiment for autistic individuals. The principal question the proposed project sets out to answer can be formulated as: why are some online, social spaces particularly inviting and significant for autistic individuals?


The proposed project is expected to have a broad, multidisciplinary impact. In an increasingly online world, the results will have direct implications for the broad and interdisciplinary field of autism studies. This is the case both in terms of future offline and online ethnographic fieldwork on autism, future philosophical approaches to autism, as well as future therapeutic and intervention studies that will benefit from the insights generated in this research project. Moreover, the results will further develop the methodological integration of philosophical phenomenology with qualitative research, especially in relation to the field of psychopathology. Lastly, the project will contribute to the development of a richer conceptual framework for understanding the nature of online encounters.


Working with actual autistic individuals, the project will integrate philosophical phenomenology with qualitative research methods, specifically virtual ethnography.The project will, in a novel manner, deploy this interdisciplinary approach within the very online spaces of the informants themselves. The data will be based on online observations and interviews, focusing on autism communities online, primarily online forums, online video games as well as various forms of direct online communication platforms. This methodology has been chosen for its established efficiency at engaging in rich detail with the experiences and interactions of real-life informants and analyzing these in philosophically and scientifically impactful ways.

Tilbage til oversigtssiden