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Refuge or prison? Girls’ experiences of a home for the 'mentally defective' in Scotland, 1906-1948

Refuge or prison? Girls’ experiences of a home for the 'mentally defective' in Scotland, 1906-1948

Martin, Mary Clare ORCID: 0000-0002-3568-6423 (2013) Refuge or prison? Girls’ experiences of a home for the 'mentally defective' in Scotland, 1906-1948. In: Hamlett, Jane, Hoskins, Lesley and Preston, Rebecca, (eds.) Residential Institutions in Britain, 1725-1970: Inmates and Environments. Perspectives in Economic and Social History (27). Pickering & Chatto Publishers, London, UK, pp. 65-77. ISBN 9781848933668

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Abstract

This case-study of the “social world” of the first charitable institution for the mentally deficient in Scotland beyond the age of 18 explores the inmates’ experiences using a wide range of archival and printed material. While this particular institution was well regarded within Glasgow civic culture, and usually by inspectors, a complaint about abusive behaviour in 1938 revealed deficiencies in the system, but also the limits of the power of the Commissioners to effect change. The essay notes that acts of “resistance”, frequently applauded by historians, could have negative effects on other inmates. It also reveals the complex range of conditions which led to admission, showing that for some families at least, the home might function as a safety-valve providing state-funded maintenance and training for some family members, or for those without permanent carers.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: [1] Chapter 4. [2] ISBN: 9781848933668 (hbk), 9781781440117 (Electronic)
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental deficiency, asylums, resistance, matron, Glasgow, community, girls, young women
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:22
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/9065

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