Alicia A. Broderick

Alicia A. Broderick is a Professor of Education at Montclair State University. She is a Disability Studies (DS) scholar and a scholar of Critical Autism Studies (CAS). For the past two decades, she has published critical scholarship on autism, deploying a variety of interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks, including critical discourse analysis, rhetoric, cultural studies, and historically-situated analyses of ideology, metaphor and narrative. Her present analysis synthesizes and reframes much of her extant work by deploying the overarching epistemological and ontological lens of neoliberal capitalism in analyzing the shifting meanings of autism within capitalism over the past 75 years.

Books by Alicia A. Broderick:

The Autism Industrial Complex
How Branding, Marketing, and Capital Investment Turned Autism into Big Business
A 2023 SPE Outstanding Book Award Winner

Autism—a concept that barely existed 75 years ago—currently feeds multiple, multi-billion-dollar-a-year, global industries.

In The Autism Industrial Complex: How Branding, Marketing, and Capital Investment Turned Autism into Big Business, Alicia A. Broderick analyzes how we got from the 11 children first identified by Leo Kanner in 1943 as “autistic” to the billion-dollar autism industries that are booming today. Broderick argues that, within the Autism Industrial Complex (AIC), almost anyone can capitalize on—and profit from—autism, and she also shows us how. The AIC has not always been there: it was built, conjured, created, manufactured, produced, not out of thin air, but out of ideologies, rhetorics, branding, business plans, policy lobbying, media saturation, capital investment, and the bodies of autistic people. Broderick excavates the 75-year-long history of the concept of autism, and shows us how the AIC—and indeed, autism today—can only be understood within capitalism itself. The Autism Industrial Complex is essential reading for a wide variety of audiences, from autistic activists, to professionals in the autism industries, to educators, to parents, to graduate students in public policy, (special) education, psychology, economics, and rhetoric.

Listen to Anne Borden King interview the author on The Noncompliant Podcast:

Watch the book presentation "Raising Awareness of the AIC" hosted by NJACE and featuring the author, Alicia Broderick at:
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