This new edition brings up to date a classic study of the everyday lives of previously institutionalized people with mental retardation. For the first time, the author allowed these people to speak about their own lives, their fears, and their hopes. He focused on the role of stigma in their lives and their efforts to pass as normal, as well as the need they had for normal benefactors.
Now, using the same ethnographic methods, Robert Edgerton follows up the original population over a period of three decades. His new findings greatly expand our knowledge of these individuals, suggesting that as they grow older they increase their social competence, life satisfaction, independence, and ability to contribute to the lives of others. Human service professionals and others concerned with mental retardation will welcome Edgerton's discussion of current issues such as the role of environmental factors in modifying mental retardation and the need for new conceptual approaches.
Robert B. Edgerton is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His many books include Rules, Exceptions, and Social Order (1985), and The Individual in Cultural Adaptation (1971), both published by California.