Grænser for opdragelse: Opfindelsen af uopdragelighed

Translated title of the contribution: Limits of Care: The Invention of Incorrigibility

Bolette Frydendahl Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From 1905 to 1940, 4% of all children and young people placed under Danish child welfare were discharged because they were perceived to be unresponsive to upbringing and care. Gradually a new concept was developed to describe the reason for their failure to transition to well-behaved children: “incorrigibility”. Based on the rise and use of this concept, this article examines the relationship between social pedagogical practice and knowledge focusing on forms of knowledge created and used to categorize children and young people. The article thus contributes with historical perspectives to contemporary concepts that designates children and adolescents as out of reach and thus invites to critical reflections on how pedagogical and social pedagogical practices might contribute to some children and young people falling into such categories. Through an analysis of selected case files from the first state-led re-education home for girls in Denmark, this article shows that the practice of abandoning children and adolescents emerged at micro level and shows how this practice formed the background for the rise of the new category to describe these children and adolescents as incorrigible.
Translated title of the contributionLimits of Care: The Invention of Incorrigibility
Original languageDanish
JournalDansk Pædagogisk Tidsskrift
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 30

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History


  • child welfare
  • incorrigibility
  • Social Work


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