From Idiocy to Mental Deficiency: Historical Perspectives on People with Learning Disabilities

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Overview

From Idiocy to Mental Deficiency is the first book devoted to the social history of people with learning disabilities in Britain. Approaches to learning disabilities have changed dramatically in recent years. The implementation of 'Care in the Community', the campaign for disabled rights and the debate over the education of children with special needs have combined to make this one of the most controversial areas in social policy today.
The nine original research essays collected here cover the social history of learning disability from the Middle Ages through the establishment of the National Health Service. They will not only contribute to a neglected field of social and medical history but also illuminate and inform current debates.
The information presented here will have a profound impact on how professionals in mental health, psychiatric nursing, social work and disabled rights understand learning disability and society's responses to it over the course of history.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Notes on the contributors
1 Contexts and perspectives 1
2 Mental handicap in medieval and early modern England: Criteria, measurement and care 22
3 Idiocy, the family and the community in early modern northern England 44
4 Identifying and providing for the mentally disabled in early modern London 65
5 The psychopolitics of learning and disability in seventeenth-century thought 93
6 'Childlike in his innocence': Lay attitudes to 'idiots' and 'imbeciles' in Victorian England 118
7 The changing dynamic of institutional care: The Western Counties Idiot Asylum, 1864-1914 134
8 Institutional provision for the feeble-minded in Edwardian England: Sandlebridge and the scientific morality of permanent care 161
9 Girls, deficiency and delinquency 184
10 Family, community, and state: The micro-politics of mental deficiency 207
Index 231
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