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Inside Out

Inside Out: Two First-person accounts fo what it means to be labeled "Mentally Retarded"

Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Inside Out
    Book Description:

    What does it mean to be 'mentally retarded'? Professors Bogdan and Taylor have interviewed two experts, 'Ed Murphy' and 'Pattie Burt,' for answers. Ed and Pattie, former inmates of institutions for the retarded, tell us in their own words.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3219-6
    Subjects: Psychology, Health Sciences, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Seymour B. Sarason

    Is it not strange that this may be the first book in which the phenomenology of ‘mentally retarded’ individuals is given to us by those individuals and not by ‘investigators’? As the authors of this volume indicate, this isnotstrange because investigators have always assumed that these individuals could not give us a coherent phenomenology and, besides, how could you trust what they would give you? Drs Bogdan and Taylor teach us otherwise in this volume. One can only hope that the fascinating contents of this volume are harbingers of future studies in which investigators seriously and strenuously try...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
    Robert Bogdan and Steven J. Taylor
  5. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-26)

    In 1966, Burton Blatt and Fred Kaplan published their now-famous photographic essay on institutions for the ‘mentally retarded,’Christmas in Purgatory(Blatt and Kaplan, 1966), which depicts atrocious conditions at these facilities.¹ The pictures on which this essay was based were taken with a camera secured to Kaplan’s belt and hidden from view by his sports jacket. On one occasion, an inmate of one of the institutions discovered Kaplan’s camera and reported it to an administrator whose attention Blatt had monopolized up until that time. The administrator laughed and casually dismissed the report with the remark, ‘Boy, these retardates can...

  7. Part 2 The Life Histories

    • Ed Murphy’s Story
      (pp. 29-92)

      There is discrimination against the retarded. There are people out of ignorance who have hurt retarded children. It really doesn’t help a person’s character the way the system treats you. One thing that’s hard is that once you’re in it, you can’t convince them how smart you are. And you’re so weak you can’t convince them how smart you are. And you’re so weak you can’t really fight back. Some of the help you get isn’t help. Like the way they talk to you, ‘I’ll help little Eddie ... you’re so nice.’ Not that I’m saying that they intentionally treat...

    • Pattie Burt’s Story
      (pp. 93-202)

      I was born in Central City, January 27, 1955. My mother said that I was a fat, plumpy baby. I weighed nine pounds and twelve ounces. I had blue eyes and a lot of goldenlock hair. My mom and dad were taking care of six children. Mom had some other ones but two of them were put out in foster homes. One of those was out of wedlock. All of us that were at home were not all from the same father.

      Dad was a heavy drinker. I know it now. My mom told me that that was one thing...

  8. 3 Conclusion
    (pp. 203-226)

    Ed’s and Pat’s stories are unique in the literature on mental retardation. The lives and experiences of people labeled retarded rarely have been presented as they themselves view and understand them (see Stanovich and Stanovich, 1979). With the exception of Nigel Hunt’s (1967) life story,The World of Nigel Hunt, autobiographies of the so-called retarded have been unavailable. Further, as Lorber (1974: 1) points out, except for Edgerton’sThe Cloak of Competence(1967), ‘no one has ever asked the mentally retarded for their opinion about mental retardation.’

    The reason for the scarcity of first-person accounts from those labeled mentally retarded...

  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 227-231)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 232-232)