Past, Present and Future
By C. F. Goodey
Routledge – 2014 – 224 pages
The social position of learning disabled people has shifted rapidly over the last 20 years, from long-stay institutions, first into community homes and day centres, and now to a currently emerging goal of "ordinary lives" for individuals using person-centred support and personal budgets. These approaches are replacing a century and a half of "scientific" pathological models based on expert assessment, and of the accompanying segregated social administration which determined how and where people led their lives, and who they were.
This innovative volume explains how concepts of learning disability, intellectual disability and autism first came about, describes their more recent evolution in the formal disciplines of psychology, and shows the direct relevance of this historical knowledge to present and future policy, practice and research. Goodey argues that "learning disability" is not a historically stable category and different people are considered "learning disabled" as it changes over time. Using social psychological and anthropological theory toidentify the underlying pathology in "intellectual disability" as the tendency of human societies to establish an in-group and to assign out-groups, he sees "learning disability" as a concept essential to an era in which to be human is essentially to be intelligent, autonomous and capable of rational choice.
Learning Disability challenges myths about the past as well as about present-day concepts, exposing both the historical continuities and the radical discontinuities in thinking about learning disability.
Introduction 1. Other Times, Other Places 2. Learning Disability and Social Institutions: From the Family to "Stretched" Social Relations 3. Scapegoating and the Persecutory Imagination: the Place of Learning Disability in the Structures of Social Discrimination 4. Learning Disability as Withdrawal of Dignity 5. Medical and Social Models 6. Psychologies 7. Learning Disability and Autism Conclusion
C. F. Goodey has previously taught at Ruskin College, the Open University and the Institute of Education, University of London. Most recently he was Assistant Director of the Centre for Studies in Inclusive Education, and he is currently an independent consultant on learning disability services for local government and for national organisations such as the UK Health Commission, the National Development Team on Inclusion, and the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities. He is also the author of A History of Intelligence and "Intellectual Disability": The Shaping of Psychology in Early Modern Europe.