Download A Special Hell: Institutional Life in Alberta's Eugenic by Claudia Malacrida PDF

By Claudia Malacrida

Utilizing infrequent interviews with former inmates and staff, institutional documentation, and governmental information, Claudia Malacrida illuminates the darkish background of the remedy of “mentally faulty” kids and adults in twentieth-century Alberta. targeting the Michener Centre in crimson Deer, one of many final such amenities working in Canada, a different Hell is a sobering account of the relationship among institutionalization and eugenics.

Malacrida explains how keeping apart the Michener Centre’s citizens from their groups served as a sort of passive eugenics that complemented the energetic eugenics software of the Alberta Eugenics Board. rather than receiving an schooling, inmates labored for very little pay – occasionally in houses and companies in purple Deer – lower than the guise of vocational rehabilitation. The good fortune of this version led to large institutional development, power crowding, and bad dwelling stipulations that integrated either regimen and striking abuse.

Combining the strong testimony of survivors with an in depth research of the institutional impulses at paintings on the Michener Centre, a different Hell is key interpreting for these attracted to the hectic prior and troubling way forward for the institutional remedy of individuals with disabilities.

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Additional resources for A Special Hell: Institutional Life in Alberta's Eugenic Years

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Happily for Goddard, Martin Kallikak had later married a respectable woman whose line had produced 496 descendants, all of whom were “upstanding or even superior” (Rafter 1997, p. 143). By comparing these two lineages, Goddard was able to provide even more convincing proof of the heritability of “taint” than had previous studies. In the 1970s, critics of his work argued that the family histories were only based on hearsay and were not reliable, that Dugdale tampered with photographs of the Kallikak “bad” side of the family to exaggerate their degenerate look, and he questionably interpreted social problems of poverty and marginalization as biological issues rather than as the effects of social deprivation.

X assured me that the children were treated kindly. He told me that 18 A Special Hell everyone there was very fond of children and that every child had individual attention and the needs of each individual was attended to in a gentle manner. He told me that these children were never punished. He told me that the children were rewarded for good behavior. He assured me that there would be no sadism used in the form of sarcasm or any other derogatory action. He assured me that the children were never strapped.

This thinking was evidenced by the fact that Alberta’s legal and publicly known involuntary sterilization program endured for almost three more decades, ending only in 1973 with the repeal of the Sexual Sterilization Act. Most individuals who participated in this study entered the institution long after the purported debunking of eugenics discourse and practice in the West­ern world. However, in the Michener survivor group, latent eugenic assumptions about these individuals are evident, since many of their personal demographic qualities would undoubtedly have raised concerns in eugenically inclined officials about “race purity,” immigration status, moral degeneracy, and tainted or degenerate stock.

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