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Abandoned to Their Fate: Social Policy and Practice Toward Severely Retarded People in America, 1820-1920

Abandoned to Their Fate: Social Policy and Practice Toward Severely Retarded People in America,... Abandoned to Their Fate: Social Policy and Practice Toward Severely Retarded People in America, 1820- 1920 By Philip M. Ferguson (Phiadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994) As the tide indicates, ehis book wines how society has treated the severely retarded in America. First, Philip Ferpn develops a concept of chronicity as the framework for his analysis of policy toward those with retardation. He argues that chtonicity has four dimensions; economic, moral, aesthetic, and scientific, and these four dimensions reptatdy were involved in the efforts of experts to d&ne the various types of idioq and imbecility (the terms for mend retardation used in the 19th century). Wherhcr people were judged chronically ugly, bad, burdensome, or useless, it was chronicity itself rather than retardation that justified their social dismissal, Chapter 2 discuses the role that the almshouse played in the beginnings of the institutionalization of =mentally retarded people. The drnshouse served as a significant socia mod4 beawe it became the basis of asylum organization for severely retarded residents. Almshouses, created as ref@ for tlx deserving poor or helpless, were designed to discourage entry of able bodied poor by their hsh conditions and work requirements. This duality of purpose promoted neglect as the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

Abandoned to Their Fate: Social Policy and Practice Toward Severely Retarded People in America, 1820-1920

Nursing History Review , Volume 6 (1): 2 – Jan 1, 1998

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.6.1.170
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abandoned to Their Fate: Social Policy and Practice Toward Severely Retarded People in America, 1820- 1920 By Philip M. Ferguson (Phiadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994) As the tide indicates, ehis book wines how society has treated the severely retarded in America. First, Philip Ferpn develops a concept of chronicity as the framework for his analysis of policy toward those with retardation. He argues that chtonicity has four dimensions; economic, moral, aesthetic, and scientific, and these four dimensions reptatdy were involved in the efforts of experts to d&ne the various types of idioq and imbecility (the terms for mend retardation used in the 19th century). Wherhcr people were judged chronically ugly, bad, burdensome, or useless, it was chronicity itself rather than retardation that justified their social dismissal, Chapter 2 discuses the role that the almshouse played in the beginnings of the institutionalization of =mentally retarded people. The drnshouse served as a significant socia mod4 beawe it became the basis of asylum organization for severely retarded residents. Almshouses, created as ref@ for tlx deserving poor or helpless, were designed to discourage entry of able bodied poor by their hsh conditions and work requirements. This duality of purpose promoted neglect as the

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 1998

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