Barnett, Jessica Penwell, "Neuroqueer frontiers: Neurodiversity, gender, and the (a)social self," Sociology Compass, Jun2024, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p1-15

This paper critically synthesizes leading edge scholarship on neurodiversity, arguing that sociology could expand its account for the relationship between self and society through attention to the (a)social practices of those constructed as neurologically disabled. Autistic scholar‐activism birthed the neurodiversity paradigm, which claims respect for neurological diversity and its social manifestations. Sexual and gender variation are among those. I review research on the confluence of neurological, sexual, and gender variance, pointing to opportunities for documenting the roles of social institutions in constructing and regulating divergent bodyminds, as well as new intersectional identities and social movements. Next, I synthesize nascent literature developing neuroqueer theory. “Neuroqueer” articulates the queer nature of neurodivergence and examines the entwinement of the two. Centering the epistemic authority of bodyminds problematized as lacking self‐control/intent, perspective‐taking, and reliance on the social symbolic, neuroqueer scholars forward (a)social ways of knowing, communicating, communing, and being human. Focusing on neuronormativity, interdependent with better‐recognized normativities (e.g., gender, ethnicity, etc.), neuroqueer theory offers fresh perspective on how dominant concepts and relations render some bodyminds problematic—legitimate objects of exclusion, marginalization, and “rehabilitation.” In doing so, it troubles sociological ideas about agency, sociality, communication, and what it means to be/have a (social) self.