Serenity, self-regard and the genetic sequence: social psychiatry and preventive eugenics in Britain, 1930s-1950s

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Winter 2006
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Draws attention to the under-explored and contradictory figure of C.P. Blacker in relation to the development of social psychiatry, and in particular looks at his focus on the role of the family in the making of individual ‘character’. Swanson brings to light a forgotten network of affiliations between medical professionals, social planners and politicians in the mid-century, and shows some of the dialogue between psychology and eugenics, particularly in relation to ‘problem families’ and their ‘inherent temperamental instabilities’. These dialogues were an important source for the continuing influences of eugenic thinking.

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