This collection explores how concepts of intellectual or learning disability evolved from a range of influences, gradually developing from earlier and decidedly distinct concepts, including ‘idiocy’ and ‘folly’, which were themselves generated by very specific social and intellectual environments. With essays extending across legal, educational, literary, religious, philosophical, and psychiatric histories, this collection maintains a rigorous distinction between historical and contemporary concepts in demonstrating how intellectual disability and related notions were products of the prevailing social, cultural, and intellectual environments in which they took form, and themselves performed important functions within these environments. Focusing on British and European material from the middle ages to the late nineteenth century, this collection asks ‘How and why did these concepts form?’ ‘How did they connect with one another?’ and ‘What historical circumstances contributed to building these connections?’ While the emphasis is on conceptual history or a history of ideas, these essays also address the consequences of these defining forces for the people who found themselves enclosed by the shifting definitional field.
This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to
black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War.
Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945,
about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships
with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The
African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called
them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry
their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with
the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for
adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in
children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but
adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were
thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these
children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white
Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated
with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these
children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking,
there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining
a sense of self and of heritage.
English radicalism has been a deep-rooted but minority tradition in the political culture since at least the seventeenth century. The central aim of this book is to examine, in historical and political context, a range of key events and individuals that exemplify English radicalism in the twentieth century. This analysis is preceded by defining precisely what has constituted this tradition; and by the main outline of the development of the tradition from the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Three of the main currents of English radicalism in the twentieth century have been the labour movement, the women’s movement and the peace movement. These are discussed in some detail, as a framework for the detailed consideration of ten key representative figures of the tradition in the twentieth century: Bertrand Russell, Sylvia Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Michael Foot, Joan Maynard, Stuart Hall, Tony Benn and Nicolas Walter. The question of ‘agency’ – of how to bring about radical change in a predominantly conservative society and culture – has been a fundamental issue for English radicals. It is argued that, in the twentieth century, many of the important achievements in progressive politics have taken place in and through extra-parliamentary movements, as well as through formal political parties and organisations – the Labour Party and other socialist organisations – and on occasion, through libertarian and anarchist politics. The final chapter considers the continuing relevance of this political tradition in the early twenty-first century, and reviews its challenges and prospects.
A feminist analysis of the Neary and Halappanavar cases
However, a senior midwife, Ann Maria Burke, admitted that she had suggested
that the rationale for why the hospital could not provide Ms Halappanavar with
an abortion was because Ireland was a ‘Catholic country’ (Holland, 2013b).
When Ms Burke told the inquest that she had made the comment to Ms
Halappanavar, the coroner told her that her remarks had ‘gone around the
world’, that the abortion had been refused on legal, not religious, grounds, and
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Context and care
that neither religiousdogma nor
It is to be remembered that the Romantics held that the simplicity of religiousdogmas defined the original state of man and its corollaries that monotheism was anterior to polytheism and primitive revelation had progressively degenerated. Once a people has unfolded its spirit to its fullest expression – from the Romantic point of view – it has fulfilled its role in history and only ‘repetition’ (revivals), stagnation and decay could follow. Müller's conclusions concerning the Veda recapitulated this central Romantic thesis.
Even William Shakespeare’s
earliest plays reveal a distancing of his mind from the religiousdogmas
of his age. In what may be his first drama, 3 Henry VI (1591), 1 Shakespeare parodied the
Crucifixion. Though his principal historical source was Hall’s
Shakespeare exploited Holinshed’s account of the persecution and
, just a decade before the declaration of papal infallibility
by the First Vatican Council, the Spanish priest acknowledged that it was
legitimate for the Pope to deal with all matters related to religiousdogma.
However, he argued that Pius IX could not be considered infallible ‘hablando
de matemáticas, de política o de filosofía’ (speaking on mathematics, politics
or philosophy).28 Aguayo also drew a clear line between the Pope and the
King of Rome; while the latter could claim legitimate and exclusive rights in a
particular sense, he reminded readers that these came
Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Victorian moralism
belief in salvation, the divinity of
Jesus and religiousdogma.3 Indeed, his autobiography of 1771 stated that he saw
himself as a deist, i.e. rejecting revelation as a form of religious knowledge, and
believing instead in the power of reason and observation of the natural world to
prove the existence of a single Creator (Franklin, 2012b). As a result, Franklin’s
thrift is essentially secular in its logic and morals.
If Franklin’s thinking was rather challenging when considered in the light of
his strict Puritan upbringing, his actions were perhaps even more rebellious
The Nordic welfare model
In Sweden, social security remains an issue constantly praised and held up for
public worship…. It is celebrated without end in the mass media as if it were
some hallowed religiousdogma that it was vital to assimilate for peace of mind.
It is taught at school like a religion. Above all, it is presented as a vital possession
that, ever threatened, must constantly be defended, for its loss is the worst of all
(Huntford 1975: 190)
Where there is a reputation, there are invariably detractors and, as the opening
role of a female extraterrestrial (Mila),
widow and mother of five, sent to Earth to see what is going on. What could have been an
interesting element (namely that she is half extraterrestrial and half earthwoman) is soon
forgotten. The opening sequence which recalls Zefirelli’s Jésus de Nazareth (1976), and
which is anyway highly biblical, gives the tone. Not that we are entering the realm of
religiousdogma, but more that we are in the sphere of the sacred. What is sacred here is the
earth which gives and produces, a wonderful