No Cover Image

Book chapter 1097 views

'Not So Deformed in Body as Debauched in Behaviour': Disability and 'Marginality' in Late Seventeenth- and Early Eighteenth-Century England

David Turner Orcid Logo

The Place of the Social Margins, 1350-1750, Pages: 39 - 56

Swansea University Author: David Turner Orcid Logo

Abstract

The status of disabled people as a ‘marginal’ group facing barriers to citizenship and social inclusion may seem self-evident, and is enshrined in modern equality legislation designed to combat the social stigma that people with disabilities have long faced. But how has the ‘marginality’ of disabled...

Full description

Published in: The Place of the Social Margins, 1350-1750
ISBN: 9781315756462
Published: 2016
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa31731
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Abstract: The status of disabled people as a ‘marginal’ group facing barriers to citizenship and social inclusion may seem self-evident, and is enshrined in modern equality legislation designed to combat the social stigma that people with disabilities have long faced. But how has the ‘marginality’ of disabled people manifested itself in the past? Using Richard Gough’s History of Myddle (1702) as a case study, the paper looks at the variety of ways of describing the lives and social position of people with various kinds of physical, sensory and intellectual impairment, and places these representations in their broader social and cultural context. Gough’s work is interesting as it described disability within the context of social relations in a Shropshire village. Although Gough sometimes drew upon well-established cultural stereotypes of disability as a sign of divine punishment where the fit merited it, his perceptions of disability were based on a much broader range of factors, including the circumstances of disablement, the family life, moral character and reputation of those concerned, and the impact of disability on the social and economic life of his parish community. As such, it provides an intriguing source for exploring the ‘marginality’ of people with disabilities at the turn of the eighteenth century.
Keywords: disability; marginality; family; stigma; inclusion
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Start Page: 39
End Page: 56