The Production of Tourette Syndrome: Erasures, framings, and silences
Dr Diana Beljaars and Jo BervoetsZoom
In this paper we problematize and challenge narrow clinical depictions of Tourette syndrome by denoting how dimensions of the condition are rendered invisible in biomedical and clinical sciences and practice. Tourette syndrome is associated with people having to do gestures and movements and make sounds that they experience as unwanted and unintentional. We highlight how dimensions of the condition remain invisible due to a combination of onto-epistemological problem definitions, neurodevelopmental theories, diagnostic practices and therapeutic realities, and the nature of the condition. Current medical and clinical scientific knowledge construction helps solve what these sciences formulate as the problems that define Tourette syndrome, and which elide any digression outside this framework. It excludes not only experiential and critical analysis of the condition. Crucially, it obfuscates concerns voiced by people with Tourette’s who are growing discontent with partial and simplistic formal understandings of their condition, therapeutic solutions on offer, and limited influence on research agendas. Anticipating increasing patient emancipatory movements, we formulate new analytical ways to render visible the realities of life with Tourette syndrome, based on a combination of empirical studies, critical appraisal of medical and clinical scholarship and a posthumanist and post-phenomenological analysis.