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Title: When what hurts us saves us : the formation of subjectivity in adults that identify themselves as dyslexic
Author: Folb, Naomi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 4765
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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The aim of this research was to explore dyslexia from the perspective of dyslexic adults, to better understand the concept of dyslexia as a difference. Whereas traditionally dyslexia has been defined as a deficit, the current research drew on a theory of critical difference from outside the dyslexia literature. This draws attention both to the research tradition that positions subjects as desiring to 'belong' and critiques the study of 'internalization' with regard to identities. Consequently, I have distanced myself from a theory of 'compensation', viewing it as tantamount to a theory of impairment. Instead the research has focused on differences between dyslexics, which brings attention to the limitations of viewing dyslexics as a homogeneous category. I collected data collected using a lateral methodology; an interweaving of different methods, and their converging epistemologies, to better understand the nuances and complexities of a dyslexic identity. It began with participant observation in a community, which brought in issues of identification, and dis- identification. It was followed with an analysis of written autobiographies, and later, in-depth interviews with four dyslexics from within this community. The findings of the research were then shared with the participants in a process of reciprocation. The data suggests that early educational failures, and the childhood diagnosis of them as 'abnormal', has had significant affect upon the respondents psychology. While the discourse of dyslexia as a lateral, holistic and intuitive way of thinking was prevalent in all accounts, it was explored through relational and contextual circumstance, which highlighted differences in interpretation between the respondents. All respondents, however, shared the opinion they would not disclose that they were dyslexic outside of the research. I have recommended, therefore, further studies to be carried out on the significance of identification, and an examination of the to context, circumstance and the conventions which prevent dyslexics from disclosing their identity
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available