volume 22, issue 3, P347-375 1989
DOI: 10.1017/s0007087400026200
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Abstract: It may be thought that the title of this paper betrays a regrettable lack of sensitivity and good taste; it is as well, therefore, to explain its origin. Lewis Dexter was, I think, the first sociologist to apply a deviance perspective to the high-grade mentally retarded. ‘On the Politics and Sociology of Stupidity in Our Society’ argues that our discriminatory attitudes to the retarded have deep ideological roots; our social institutions tend ‘automatically’ to penalize stupidity; and repugnance often characte…

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