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Idioternas tid: Tankestilar inom den tidiga idiotskolan 1840 - 1872
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Time of the Idiots : Thought-styles in the early institutional schools for idiots 1840-1872 (English)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to increase our knowledge about the thinking of idiocy behind the formation of the first institutional schools for idiots in the Scandinavian countries. The source materials – publications, articles, documents, photos – has been studied and interpreted through a hermeneutic existential method. The final interpretation is connected to Ludwik Fleck´s theory of thought-style and thought-collective. Thought-style in this context has different aspects:

The quality or characteristics of the conception or diagnosis of idiocy

The ideas about underlying causes

The educational, medical and social measures required

The expected results or goals

The environmental influence

Three historical perspectives are traced in the thesis: a biographical history perspective, an educational/medical and a comprehensive perspective of the history of knowledge.

The Nordic thinking of idiocy was strongly influenced from French, Swiss and Prussian forerunners. The first efforts in the Nordic countries were attempted by psychiatrists, theologians and teachers for the deaf and dumb. The precursor in Sweden, a woman, had to connect to the available female/religious strategy of the time for her participation.

The study concludes that although the activists spoke about “the time of the idiots” it was also a time for the activists to create possibilities for entrepreneurship and professional careers. The medical knowledge of idiocy was in its infancy. The educational progression was moderate and built upon the theories of the time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Pedagogiska institutionen , 2007. , 306 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1104-1625 ; 141
Keyword [en]
history of education, idiocy, thought-style
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7105ISBN: 978-91-7155-508-3OAI: diva2:197643
Public defence
2007-10-26, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Available from: 2007-10-04 Created: 2007-10-04 Last updated: 2009-03-11Bibliographically approved

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