Institutions for the Mentally Retarded: A War Disguised as Debate

Burton Blatt, James F. Winschel, Gail L. Ensher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current controversies over the welfare of the mentally retarded are evident in bold relief in three discussions of the plight and future of institutions. One participant traces the problem to a prejudice with which we have historically greeted people who are different and which has now become a sickness affecting all of society. Another deplores a rampant welfarism that has denuded families of a sense of personal responsibility and has encouraged “institutionalization” as a convenient solution to the problems of our most needy citizens. The last author calls for a remolding of the institutional mission and a reduction of that negativism which is the special province of the academic community. In total, these debates attempt to provide a theoretical underpinning for decisions that will affect the well-being of the mentally retarded for decades to come.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Special Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation


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