The Cause of the Crippled Child

  • Roger Cooter
Part of the Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History book series (STMMH)


Unlike the politics of surgery between the 1880s and the First World War, the history of the child has been extensively pursued. The demographic, socioeconomic and ideological conditions that contributed to the late-Victorian and Edwardian preoccupation with, and revaluation of, childhood are now familiar. Known too, in large part, are the shifting philanthropic and state political responses to childhood poverty, illness, deprivation and abuse, to say nothing of ‘deviancy’, delinquency and ‘degeneracy’.1 It is also widely acknowledged that as education became compulsory after 1870, so the schoolroom took on the character of a laboratory for the medicopsychological surveillance, control and testing of children. Very largely, this was the site where childhood was reconstructed in predominantly psychological and medical terms.


Handicapped Child Childhood Poverty Special School Medical Interest Residential School 
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Copyright information

© Roger Cooter 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Cooter
    • 1
  1. 1.Wellcome Unit for the History of MedicineUniversity of ManchesterUK

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