Semiotic Stalemate: Resisting Restraint and Seclusion through Guattari’s Micropolitics of Desire
This article explores the semiotic relationships between Applied Behavior Analysis research, special education practice and restraint and seclusion policy by tracing the evolution of the concept of “self-restraint,” —a term from Behavior Analytic literature for a variety of “behaviors” in which a person restricts their own movement. I trace how “self-restraint” emerges as a new class of behaviors eligible for intervention, and how this marks certain bodies for restrictive practices such as restraint, seclusion and the use of aversives. I explore how rhetorical moves shape the educational landscape of disabled students and expose mechanisms of control that are shaped by scholarship. By using “self-restraint” as an example, I respond to the taxonomies of deficit disseminated through Applied Behavioral Analysis in schooling for neurodivergent students and make critical links between special education practice and Disability Studies in Education.
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