There have been a number of cases of feral children raised in social isolation with little or no human contact. Few have captured public and scientific attention like that of a young girl called Genie. She spent almost her entire childhood locked in a bedroom, isolated and abused for over a decade. Genie’s case was one of the first to put the critical period theory to the test. Could a child reared in utter deprivation and isolation develop language? Could a nurturing environment make up for a horrifying past?
For more overview of Genie’s story, click here.
Since the documentary — where is Genie? How have the scientists involved reflected on their time with Genie? The Guardian covered her story a few years ago in an investigative article.
The New York Times: What if Sociologists Had as Much Influence as Economists?
by Neil Irwin
March 17th, 2017
“Sociologists spend their careers trying to understand how societies work. And some of the most pressing problems in big chunks of the United States may show up in economic data as low employment levels and stagnant wages but are also evident in elevated rates of depression, drug addiction and premature death. In other words, economics is only a piece of a broader, societal problem. So maybe the people who study just that could be worth listening to.”