Dugdale, Richard Louis

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Dugdale, Richard Louis

Richard Louis Dugdale (dŭg´dāl), 1841–83, American social investigator, b. Paris. While inspecting (1874) county jails for the New York Prison Association, he developed data for his famous study of the Jukes (fictitious name of a real family) published as The Jukes: A Study in Crime, Pauperism, Disease, and Heredity (1875). One of the first social investigations of familial feeble-mindedness and criminality, it created a sensation at the time, and was hailed by the eugenics movement as a study of hereditary degeneracy. Dugdale himself, however, indicated that the Jukes were not a single clan. The finding of the manuscript (1911), revealing the actual names of the families, enabled Arthur H. Estabrook to make a comparative study, The Jukes in 1915, which, though it showed (in its data) that the family had become less of a source of societal problems over time, continued to emphasize the Jukes's degeneracy and expense to society. The assumptions and conclusions by the eugenics movement about the Jukes have since been challenged, and subsequent research has revealed that the families in the study also produced well-respected citizens.

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