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    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, History of Psychiatry, 25 (2), 2014, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2014 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the History of Psychiatry page: http://hpy.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/

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Shifting boundaries between the normal and the pathological: the case of mild intellectual disability

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>History of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Volume25
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)171-186
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

When disorders fade into normality, how can the threshold between normality and disorder be determined? In considering mild intellectual disability, I argue that economic factors partly determine thresholds. We tend to assume that the relationship between disorder, need and services is such that: first, a cut-off point between the disordered and the normal is determined; second, a needy population is identified; and third, resources are found (or at least should be found) to meet this need. However, the changing definitions of intellectual
disability can best be understood if we think of this happening in reverse. That is, first, certain resources are thought obtainable, and then a cut-off point for disorder is selected which supplies an appropriately sized ‘needy population’.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, History of Psychiatry, 25 (2), 2014, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2014 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the History of Psychiatry page: http://hpy.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/