"Autism is the last frontier of anthropology, in that anthropology is historically grounded in the notion that 'others' have their own social logics (Bourdieu, 1990a; Evans-Pritchand, 1937; Good, 1994; Lévy-Bruhl, 1926; Lévi-Strauss, 1963; Sahlins, 1976). Yet, how can we begin to understand the social logics of persons with autism from an emic perspective if a disruption in 'social logic' is positioned precisely at the heart of this condition, as it has been conceptualized from the etic perspective? This, of course, is an imposing analytic endeavor towards which our present article makes only a modest contribution.
A study of autism, however, also holds promise for enhancing theories of society and culture, in that both the struggles and the successes of those diagnosed with autism make evidence what is most essential to participation in human society. Social competencies displayed by persons with autism spectrum disorders have implications for delineating foundational properties of sociability. Conversely, social challenges faced by persons with autism spectrum disorders highlight what likely are more demanding requisites of immersion in social spaces." (p. 172)
from "Autism and the social world: an anthropological perspective." By Elinor Ochs, Tamar Kremer-Sadlik, Karen Gainer Sirota, and Olga Solomon (2004). Discourse Studies 6, pp. 147-183.