Counterpoints of care: Two moments of struggle
This paper examines the history of care in modern society and seeks to expose how deep transformations in care arise from wider social relations. From historical survey we may discern a series of transitional points, where the practice and the experience of care was greatly, sometimes suddenly, redefined. Each betrayed deeper political and ethical struggles that went to the core of social relations, and which weren't merely therapeutic in nature. This paper explores two such 'moments'. I first examine the emergence of a new institutional landscape during the middle industrial era, in the wake of a series of legal and political reforms that sought to settle a social order uprooted and distressed by raw modernisation. I provide a composite, yet incomplete view, of how this transformation proceeded in one urban setting, colonial Melbourne. In the second instance, I review the ambitions and process of deinstitutionalisation in the late 20th century. Ostensibly, this reform sought, inter alia, to collapse the great division between 'fit' and 'unfit' established in 1834. Again, empirical reference is made to the reconstitution of care in Melbourne, Australia, this time during its late 20th experience of institutional reform. The focus in this case is the process of downscaling and closure for a major congregate facility, Kew Cottages.The major conclusion is that periods of intense transition in the ideology and mode of care are reflective of wider social transformations not merely of therapeutic or institutional shifts.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified