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Contesting certification: mental deficiency, families and the State in inter-war England

Myers, Kevin (2011) Contesting certification: mental deficiency, families and the State in inter-war England. Paedagogica Historica, 47 (6). pp. 749-766. ISSN 0030-9230

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URL of Published Version: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00309230.2011.621199

Identification Number/DOI: 10.1080/00309230.2011.621199

This article is an attempt to shed some further light on the people and the processes involved in the identification of mental deficiency in children and young people. In order to do this it turns away from the themes that have been most prominent in the historiography to date: elite and professional ideas, parliamentary and public debates and the formulation of policy. Instead the paper is concerned with a single instance of diagnosis of imbecility in an eleven year old schoolboy in a rural village in the English county of Hertfordshire. As far as is possible it reconstructs this diagnosis and charts and explains a remarkable and successful challenge to it in the High Court. In doing so it draws on a variety of documentary records – educational, legal and medical – as well as the testimony of some of the surviving members of the family concerned. In employing these sources particular attention is paid to the actions of the people involved in diagnosis, and it seeks to explain and understand those actions with explanatory tools taken from cultural history.

Type of Work:Article
Date:2011 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Education and Social Justice
Additional Information:

This is an electronic post-print version of an article that was published in Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of History of Education,© 2011 Copyright; Taylor & Francis; Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of History of Education is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cpdh20/current.

Keywords:education, social justice, education and social justice, childhood, psychology, special education needs
Subjects:HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Taylor & Francis
ID Code:1137
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