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Idealists, Pragmatists and ‘Simple-Minded’ Scamps: The Tasmanian Mental Deficiency Board and State ‘Care’ in the 1920s

C. Evans,

Academic Literature

2017

This article uses case files to trace the negotiations that took place in the early 1920s between officials at the Tasmanian Children of the State Department and the Mental Deficiency Board about the training and employment as farm labourers of sixteen boys in state care who were diagnosed as ‘feeble-minded’. It explores the ways in which the boys attempted to improve their work conditions through negotiation and protest, finding that the Department supported them against the Board over the need for fair treatment and wages. Australian studies of children’s protest while in state care have concentrated on girls and do not address intellectual disability or the agency of officials. This investigation addresses that historiographical gap. © 2017 Editorial Board, Australian Historical Studies.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Australian Historical Studies

Domain/s: Education

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