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Historiographical and research political reflections
Lene Koch

Being a historian of eugenics in Denmark, I have never been in want of an audience. 1 Writing in the 1990s, it seemed that the mere mention of the concept of eugenics was enough to create a strong interest in what I had to say about this – at the time – forgotten chapter of Danish history. German Rassenhygiene and its relationship to the Holocaust were well known, but it was a

in Communicating the history of medicine
Genetics, pathology, and diversity in twentieth-century America

Is deafness a disability to be prevented or the uniting trait of a cultural community to be preserved? Combining the history of eugenics and genetics with deaf and disability history, this book traces how American heredity researchers moved from trying to eradicate deafness to embracing it as a valuable cultural diversity. It looks at how deafness came to be seen as a hereditary phenomenon in the first place, how eugenics became part of progressive reform at schools for the deaf, and what this meant for early genetic counselling. Not least, this is a story of how deaf people’s perspectives were pushed out of science, and how they gradually reemerged from the 1950s onwards in new cooperative projects between professionals and local signing deaf communities. It thus sheds light on the early history of culturally sensitive health care services for minorities in the US, and on the role of the psycho-sciences in developing a sociocultural minority model of deafness. For scholars and students of deaf and disability studies and history, as well as health care professionals and activists, this book offers new insight to changing ideas about medical ethics, reproductive rights, and the meaning of scientific progress. Finally, it shows how genetics came to be part of recent arguments about deafness as a form of biocultural diversity.

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Gerald V. O’Brien

American eugenics movement have been published. These have covered virtually all aspects of the movement, including, for example, its antecedents and evolution, the major personalities involved, the relationship of American eugenics both to the Nazi race hygiene programs and contemporary genetic and bioethical developments and other aspects of the movement. This begs the relevant question: why another book on eugenics? My response to this is that this book is not ‘on eugenics’ in the sense that it is another overview of the movement and its effects. Rather, the primary

in Framing the moron
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The social construction of feeble-mindedness in the American eugenic era

Many people are shocked upon discovering that tens of thousands of innocent persons in the United States were involuntarily sterilized, forced into institutions, and otherwise maltreated within the course of the eugenic movement (1900–30). Such social control efforts are easier to understand when we consider the variety of dehumanizing and fear-inducing rhetoric propagandists invoke to frame their potential victims. This book details the major rhetorical themes employed within the context of eugenic propaganda, drawing largely on original sources of the period. Early in the twentieth century the term “moron” was developed to describe the primary targets of eugenic control. This book demonstrates how the image of moronity in the United States was shaped by eugenicists.

This book will be of interest not only to disability and eugenic scholars and historians, but to anyone who wants to explore the means by which pejorative metaphors are utilized to support social control efforts against vulnerable community groups.

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Gerald V. O’Brien

advocates of eugenics (as well as, to a large degree, those in other nations) were more apt to be supported by the public and policymakers if the targets of control were portrayed as a growing threat to the rest of the population, and the dehumanizing metaphor themes that have been explicated in the previous chapters served as essential elements within the rhetorical arsenal of the eugenicists. These themes were employed to build a case for restricting human rights against a group that was seemingly non-­threatening. Furthermore, as with many large-­scale efforts to

in Framing the moron
Heredity research and counselling at the Clarke School, 1930–1960
Marion Andrea Schmidt

on the inheritance of deafness worldwide. Covering the period from the 1930s to the 1960s, the school’s heredity research fell into a time of immense changes in eugenics, genetics, and genetic counselling. During this time, the coercive, state-driven, and biased eugenics of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s grew into the modern medical genetics of the 1950s and 1960s, which, increasingly, emphasized individual autonomy. Historians have given much attention to the fraught, ritualized, and incomplete manner in which geneticists, physicians, biologists, or

in Eradicating deafness?
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The moron as an atavistic subhuman
Gerald V. O’Brien

trajectories’ was frequently used to buttress manifest destiny in the United States.20 While this belief reached its peak decades before the eugenic era, it certainly made its influence felt on the eugenics movement, as will be discussed later in this chapter. To Cesera Lombroso, the early Italian criminologist, who wrote toward the end of the 1900s, ‘born’ criminals constituted an atavistic throwback to an earlier, more primitive stage of human evolution. Such atavism, he argued, ‘may go back far beyond the savage, even to the brutes themselves’.21 To Lombroso, born

in Framing the moron
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Of races and genocides
Marion Andrea Schmidt

Today, Alexander Graham Bell is most famous for his invention of the telephone. In his time, however, he was also known as a eugenicist and as a highly influential figure in deaf education. These combined interests in eugenics and education led him to look into the marriage patterns of deaf people and whether their children were hearing or deaf. He studied census data and records from residential schools, where at the time most deaf children were educated. These schools also were centres of flourishing deaf communities, with their own clubs, churches, and

in Eradicating deafness?
Deaf people as objects of research, reform, and eugenics, 1900–1940
Marion Andrea Schmidt

for addressing the ‘problem of deafness’ more generally, as a matter of public health and prevention. Heredity research and its eugenic application were part of these larger conversations about disability, childhood, and public health, about how to increase the efficiency of education and put science and medicine to ‘restoring’ the disabled. 1 If we want to understand how eugenics became part of these conversations, and how it ties in with oralist education, we need to look back at the history of the school, and how deafness and deaf people were treated in

in Eradicating deafness?
Dolto, psychoanalysis and Catholicism from Occupation to Liberation
Richard Bates

popularisers in the 1910s. 5 Carrel proposed a mixture of eugenics, pronatalism and education as the solution to endemic social problems, which, he argued, had caused a ‘decrease in the intellectual and moral calibre of those who carry the responsibility of public affairs’. 6 Though opposed to the Nazis, Carrel admired far-right leaders such as Jacques Doriot and Colonel de la Rocque, and expressed hostility to the Third Republic. He converted to Catholicism in 1938. The interwar drive for technical organisation and

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France