Insanity, Institutions, and Society, 1800-1914

Insanity, Institutions, and Society, 1800-1914

Insanity, Institutions, and Society, 1800-1914

Insanity, Institutions, and Society, 1800-1914

Synopsis

This comprehensive collection provides a fascinating summary of the debates on the growth of institutional care during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Revising and revisiting Foucault, it looks at the significance of ethnicity, race and gender as well as the impact of political and cultural factors, throughout Britain and in a colonial context. It questions historically what it means to be mad and how, if at all, to care.

Excerpt

The idea for a collection of essays dedicated to a reappraisal of the social history of insanity originated in a seminar series held at the University of Exeter which was generously funded by the Wellcome Trust. These seminars were followed by a conference organised by the Centre for Medical History at Exeter and sponsored by the Society for the Social History of Medicine. We are grateful to David Allen and John Malin of the Wellcome Trust for their assistance and encouragement in organising the seminars, and to Tim Boon and his colleagues on the Executive of the Society for supporting what was a highly enjoyable and stimulating conference. Amongst those who helped in the organisation of the Exeter conference as well as contributing to the exchange of ideas were Michael Clark, Anne Digby, Mark Jackson, Roy Porter, Jonathan Sadowsky Anne Shepherd, John Welshman and the numerous colleagues who acted as commentators in the different sessions. Many fine articles presented at that event would have filled a second volume on a different theme to the present collection. the contributions assembled here have clearly benefited from acquaintance with the wide range of research reported at the conference. in the surprisingly smooth transition from conference articles to publication we have gained from the excellent editorial support of Heather McCallum and Shankari Sanmuganathan at Routledge as well as the critical guidance of anonymous readers. We were fortunate in editing the essays of contributors who responded quickly and positively to requests and suggestions. the warmest thanks are due to Bernard Harris, as the sshm Series Editor, for the invariably courteous, patient and meticulous manner in which he dealt with all our queries and concerns. We also gained much from his constructive criticisms in regard to the essays. Finally we wish to thank our respective partners Helen Rogers and Patricia Forsythe for their . . .

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