The citizen-worker: ambivalent meanings of 'real jobs', 'full citizenship' and 'adulthood' in the case of autistic people

Bertilsdotter Rosqvist, Hanna and O'Dell, Lindsay and Brownlow, Charlotte (2014) The citizen-worker: ambivalent meanings of 'real jobs', 'full citizenship' and 'adulthood' in the case of autistic people. Australian Community Psychologist, 26 (1). pp. 18-27.


In this paper, we discuss the experiences of autistic people in engaging with the workplace, and hence becoming an active citizen, within dominant constructions of adulthood. We focus on transition into work as a key way in which children become adults in many societies. Such a transition to adulthood is seen to be less straightforward for children with 'disabilities', including those with a diagnosis of autism (or self defining as autistic). We draw on data from our previous and ongoing research examining neurodiverse spaces for children and adults with autism, and the importance of such spaces. Issues for neurodiverse spaces are also key in the workplace and the implications for refocusing an examination on transitions into work by autistic people through a lens of neurodiversity are far reaching in terms of how autistic people fashion their own positive citizenship identities, how service providers negotiate opportunities for some, and how workplaces shift in terms of accommodating difference. We argue that there is a need for inclusive and diverse workspaces, where the strengths of some adults with autism can be part of a shared neurodiverse and non-autistic (neurotypical) space. We therefore argue that by attending to the workplace from a neurodiverse perspective community psychologists can work to support a diverse range of young people into working activities, if they choose to participate.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper is open access on publisher website, but publisher retains copyright, so Published Version restricted.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology, Counselling and Community
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2014 05:35
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 01:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: autistic; autism; work
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940599 Work and Institutional Development not elsewhere classified

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