Embodied Selves: An Anthology of Psychological Texts, 1830-1890

By Jenny Taylor; Sally Shuttleworth | Go to book overview

1. Nervous Economies: Morbidity and Modernity

MERCHANTS AND MASTER MANUFACTURERS

Charles Turner Thackrah, The Effects of Arts, Trades and Professions, and of Civic States and Habits of Living: With Suggestions for the Removal of Many of the Agents which Produce Disease, and Shorten the Duration of Life ( 1831), 2nd edn. ( London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, 1832), 164-7.

In the first major systematic attempt to study the psychological effects of various industrial occupations, Thackrah divides the population into five classes: operatives; dealers; master-manufacturers and merchants; independent man and professional men. The following describes the dangers facing 'merchants and master manufacturers'.

Of the causes of disease, anxiety of mind is one of the most frequent and important. When we walk the streets of large commercial towns, we can scarcely fail to remark the hurried gait and care-worn features of the well-dressed passengers. Some young men, indeed, we may see, with countenances possessing natural cheerfulness and colour; but these appearances rarely survive the age of manhood. Cuvier1 closes an eloquent description of animal existence and change, with the conclusion that 'Life is a state of Force.' What he would urge in a physical view, we may more strongly urge in a moral. Civilization has changed our

____________________
1
Georges Cuvier ( 1769-1832); pioneer in the field of comparative anatomy, Professor of Natural History at the Collège de France from 1799 and three years later at the Jardin des Plantes. Author of Tableaux élémentaires de l'histoire naturelle des animaux ( 1798) and Le Règne animal ( 1817). See also Introduction to this section.

-293-

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Embodied Selves: An Anthology of Psychological Texts, 1830-1890
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xiii
  • List of Illustrations xix
  • Section I Reading the Mind 1
  • 1. Physiognomy 8
  • 2. Phrenology 25
  • 3. Mesmerism 49
  • Section II The Unconscious Mind and the Workings of Memory 65
  • 1. Associationism and Physiological Psychology 73
  • 2. Dreams 102
  • 3. Double Consciousness 123
  • 4. Memory 141
  • Section III The Sexual Body 163
  • 1. Defining Womanhood 169
  • 2. the Uterine Economy 184
  • 3. Masculinity and the Control of Sexuality 209
  • Section IV Insanity and Nervous Disorders 225
  • 1. Moral Management and the Rise of the Psychiatrist 231
  • Section V Heredity, Degeneration, and Modern Life 285
  • 1. Nervous Economies: Morbidity and Modernity 293
  • 2. Concepts of Descent and Degeneration 303
  • 3. Inherited Legacies: Idiocy and Criminality 322
  • 4. Childhood 335
  • 5. Race and Hybridity 352
  • 6 Sex in Mind and Education 373
  • Notes on Authors 389
  • Select Bibliography 413
  • Index 423
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