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The Problem of Mental DeficiencyEugenics, Democracy, and Social Policy in Britain,
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Mathew Thomson

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206927.001.0001

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Mental Deficiency and the Welfare State

Mental Deficiency and the Welfare State

(p.270) 8 Mental Deficiency and the Welfare State
The Problem of Mental Deficiency

Mathew Thomson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the formation of the Welfare state in Great Britain from the perspective of mental deficiency policy. It analyses the extent to which transformation and democratization in this area of policy has occurred and the implications of social citizenship for the definition of and attitudes towards mental deficiency. It suggests that while the Mental Health Act of 1959 has reformulated the problem of mental deficiency, the longer-term problem of providing care for mentally disabled continued to be a considerable dilemma for the Welfare State.

Keywords:   mental deficiency policy, Welfare State, democratization, social citizenship, Mental Health Act, transformation

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