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From feeble-minded to mentally retarded: child protection and the changing place of disabled children in the mid-twentieth century United States
Indiana University, USA.
2011 (English)In: Paedagogica historica, ISSN 0030-9230, E-ISSN 1477-674X, Vol. 47, no 6, 729-747 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

American attitudes and policies toward children with disabilities changed significantly between the 1920s and the 1950s. Drawn from a larger study of the history of child protection in the United States, I argue that a redefinition of disabled children occurred in this era. Earlier fears that feeble-minded children posed a menace to American society gave way to new anxieties that mentally retarded children placed undue strains on individual families. Both concerns encouraged the segregation and often the institutionalisation of such children, but within very different class, family, medical and policy contexts and with very different results. These developments are best understood by connecting together the emerging histories of childhood and disability through the concept of policy drift.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2011. Vol. 47, no 6, 729-747 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90739DOI: 10.1080/00309230.2011.621198OAI: diva2:614620

Special Issue:

Normalising childhood: Policies and interventions concerning special children in the United States and Europe (1900-1960): Edited by Annemieke van Drenth and Kevin Meyers, Editor-in-chief: Jeroen Dekker

Available from: 2013-04-05 Created: 2013-04-05 Last updated: 2013-05-14

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Grossberg, Michael
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