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A history of child development in Britain

This book explains the current fascination with autism by linking it to a longer history of childhood development. Drawing from a staggering array of primary sources, it traces autism back to its origins in the early twentieth century and explains why the idea of autism has always been controversial and why it experienced a 'metamorphosis' in the 1960s and 1970s. The book locates changes in psychological theory in Britain in relation to larger shifts in the political and social organisation of schools, hospitals, families and childcare. It explores how government entities have dealt with the psychological category of autism. The book looks in detail at a unique children's 'psychotic clinic' set up in London at the Maudsley Hospital in the 1950s. It investigates the crisis of government that developed regarding the number of 'psychotic' children who were entering the public domain when large long-stay institutions closed. The book focuses on how changes in the organisation of education and social services for all children in 1970 gave further support to the concept of autism that was being developed in London's Social Psychiatry Research Unit. It also explores how new techniques were developed to measure 'social impairment' in children in light of the Seebohm reforms of 1968 and other legal changes of the early 1970s. Finally, the book argues that epidemiological research on autism in the 1960s and 1970s pioneered at London's Institute of Psychiatry has come to define global attempts to analyse and understand what, exactly, autism is.

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The first autism can only be understood in the context of the legal and institutional networks that enabled the spread of psychological theory as applied to infants and children in Britain in the early twentieth century. This chapter examines the integration of the concept of autism into psychological theory in Britain and the significance of

in The metamorphosis of autism
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Perceiving, describing and modelling child development

the 1960s, psychiatric epidemiology was regarded as a new tool with which to challenge theories of the unconscious in child development. By the 1990s, psychological theories on the significance of unconscious instinctual drives to the development of pathological forms of infantile thought were virtually obsolete. They had been superseded and subsumed within new neuroscientific models for understanding

in The metamorphosis of autism

the finer points of psychological theory could be interrogated in depth. Because the Mental Deficiency, Education and National Health Service Acts made no mention of the concepts of childhood psychosis or schizophrenia, the children diagnosed with these conditions had no legal rights to long-term treatment or education. The Maudsley psychotic clinic was founded partly in order to

in The metamorphosis of autism
Open Access (free)

’s philosophical work – though he had studied Kant’s response to it – nor Adam Smith’s remarkable development of it in his psychological theory of the growth of science (1980), but he was later to make the connection with Smith’s best-known application of his theory. As I have observed, the basic, and very powerful, skill of human cognition is the creation and application of patterns (of which logical reasoning is a special case); and Smith characterises scientific activity as the invention of ‘connecting principles’ which provide a credible account of relationships between

in Market relations and the competitive process
Simone de Beauvoir and a Global Theory of Feminist Recognition

’, or paternalistic intrusion into the minds of the oppressors ( 2003 : 31). Her concern is also that if the psychological theory through which the harm is explained were discredited, then a person's claim of unjust misrecognition would fail. Furthermore, and perhaps most relevant for cosmopolitan feminism, Fraser is anxious that any account of misrecognition based on a theory of the human

in Recognition and Global Politics

about the way to collect and employ scientific data when making claims about children’s early development. As discussed in Chapter 1 , the first autism was adopted into psychological theory in Britain primarily via major mental health institutions, child guidance clinics and progressive and permissive schools. It was not integrated via the

in The metamorphosis of autism
Clotilde Escalle’s tales of transgression

. Psychoanalytical and psychological theories and models can aid us to understand the context in which they live and submit, but they are not sufficient, since we are dealing here with fictions, which have meaning on their own terms, rather than as narrations of psychodramas. Foucault has persuasively argued that in Sade, ‘sex is without any norm or intrinsic rule that might be formulated from its own nature’.17 I would not argue that Escalle is a Sadean woman in any simplistic way, in that her expository scrutiny of ‘perverse’ sexual practices and sexualities has more to do with the

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Becoming an “old maid”

the concept of age. The identification between biological, social, psychological and chronological age is affirmed in developmental psychological theories which constitute age clusters at different stages of the life course and bestow age with features which are beyond its classificatory marker. (Hazan 2006, 82) In his writings on the reasoning of bureaucratic logic, Don Handelman discusses the effectiveness of age as a taxonomizer which constitutes the temporality of the individual, “smoothing him into the bureaucratic order” (Handelman 2004, 88). Accordingly

in A table for one
Open Access (free)

Political Thought (Oxford, Martin Robertson, 1981); C. Gilligan, In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1982); S. Ruddick, Maternal Thinking: Towards a Politics of Peace (Boston, MA, Beacon Press, 1989); J. Tronto, Moral Boundaries: The Political Argument for an Ethic of Care (New York, Routledge, 1993

in Political concepts