This is a history between 1960 and 2000 of asylums operated in the United States for children labeled as “severely or profoundly mentally retarded,” and “emotionally and behaviorally disturbed.” I use one primary case study of the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, New York. Willowbrook has already received some focus in the works of David and Shelia Rothman as well as Drs. David Goode, Darryl Hill, and William Bronston, and Geraldo Rivera’s newscast in 1972. Primary focus has been given to it because it is both unique and indicative of asylums across the U.S. during the mid 20th Century. It was unique in some of the severity of treatment, which its residents experienced, but overall mirrors national trends in brutal and neglectful living conditions. It also signals larger national trends in the mid to late 70s, which carry over into the 80s and early 90s as part of the deinstitutionalization movement. I find that this movement was largely a response to the conditions for which Willowbrook became a national symbol. Furthermore, even in the wake of the deinstitutionalization movement, there are many problems with federal and state policy that disproportionately disaffect people of color as well as poor people. Finally, I argue that the historical canon must expand somewhat to take into account Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas about Societies of Control. Many scholars, such as the Rothman, Tonya Titchkosky, Kim E. Nielsen, and others base their work on the Foucault’s notion of a ‘disciplinary’ society. But Deleuze (sometimes with Guattari) offers a sympathetic critique of Foucault’s understanding of discipline that adds a great deal of depth to the study of asylums and deinstitutionalization in the mid to late 20th Century.
|Commitee:||Gardner, Kirsten, Welchman, Alistair|
|School:||The University of Texas at San Antonio|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American history, Mental health, History|
|Keywords:||Asylum, Deinstitutionalization, Deleuze, Guattari, Staten island, Willowbrook|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be