Rättssociologiska studier inom området autism. Rättsanvändning i en kunskapskonkurrerande miljö

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)


The purpose of this dissertation is to study the concept of autism from a socio-legal perspective and to analyze the actual use of law in an area where knowledge rivalry is present, as in the case of autism. The ambition is to illustrate how law reacts to, and deals with, rivalry fields of knowledge within the system of decision-making. During the last decades, research on autism has been intense and resulted in number of new and important findings. Despite this development there still exists a certain disagreement, if not conflict, among researchers regarding the cause of autism and choice of treatment. The term use of law is used to explicate the fact that the study investigates the application of law from a user perspective. The users referred to are the individuals that directly or indirectly, are affected by the law and the civil servants who act within the area.

The method used could be described as qualitative case study research. The empirical material consists of documentation reflecting the interaction between the civil servants and the individuals in the cases. Based on this material the dissertation’s disposition is shaped by a heuristic and inductive research approach. As a result, it is the gradual and increasing understanding of the empirical material that determines and forms the theoretical approach.

The most important result of this study is that the persons in the cases have received neither adequate treatment nor an adequate reception, and that this is due to different professional conceptualizations of autism. The cases presented also indicates that the struggle is not only within a scientific system, it is also a struggle between the system and the life world. In all cases, the parents of the concerned individuals, have been struggling year after year, in order to be able to communicate their experience-based knowledge to the professionals surrounding their child. In this perspective one can say that the scientific controversy is stretched to also include the question about what is legitimate from a cognitive point of view; the system-based knowledge that forms the professional standpoint, or the life world knowledge that arises from single individuals daily experience.

The law and the socio-legal perspective have been used as analytical indicators when describing these events. The method gives at hand that certain factors regarding the role of the law in general as well as in individual cases are brought into light. The cases presented in this dissertation gives at hand that the law has a tendency towards passivity. The legal institutions have not taken on the role as instigator in this locked situation, mainly due to scientific conflict within the field of autism. The empirical material illustrates that the law did not have the ability to stand up and encompass the values of the life world, but favored the system-based knowledge. It appears as the law tends to surrender and withdraw from its main task, namely to guard the individual and her life world.


  • Annika Pfannenstill
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Juridik och samhälle


Tilldelande institution
Handledare/Biträdande handledare
  • [unknown], [unknown], handledare, Extern person
Tilldelningsdatum2002 maj 24
Tryckta ISBN91-7267-120-3
StatusPublished - 2002