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Title: Constructing the Disabled Child in England, 1800–1860
Authors: King, Steven A.
First Published: 1-Dec-2015
Publisher: Maney Publishing for Family and Community Historical Research Society
Citation: Family and Community History, 2015, 18 (2), pp. 104-121
Abstract: At the core of much of the historiography of disability in so far as it relates to nineteenth century England is a belief that the support offered to those with physical and mental impairments was threadbare and that such people could be and were pushed to the social margins of their communities. The current article uses poor law records, letters, newspapers and coronial inquests to suggest that officials in fact had a sophisticated sense of degrees of mental and physical impairment and relief/support systems were tailored accordingly. Like many of the pauper families who wrote to them about children with impairments I argue that officials tended to construct hierarchies of ability rather than disability and that doing so took them deeply into areas like labour market subsidy and the avoidance of institutional confinement. On the subject of children with mental and physical impairments, officials and pauper shared a common rhetorical register and strategic approach to classification and treatment.
DOI Link: 10.1179/1463118015Z.00000000044
ISSN: 1463-1180
eISSN: 1751-3812
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Family and Community Historical Research Society Ltd. This is the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of an article accepted for publication in Family & Community History. It is the version after peer-review but without Maney editing and typesetting, and may have minor differences from the final paginated version. Deposited with reference to the Publisher's Green OA terms of reuse, available at
Description: The file associated with this record is embargoed for 24 months from first publication, in accordance with the Publisher's policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

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