The Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800-1965

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This edited volume brings together fourteen original research papers to answer key questions in the history of asylums. What forces led to the emergence of mental hospitals in different national contexts? To what extent did patient populations vary in terms of their psychiatric profile or their socio-economic background? What was the role of families, communities and the medical profession in the confinement process? This volume therefore represents a landmark study in the history of psychiatry by examining asylum confinement in a global context.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[An] useful little volume...In terms of what is happening in asylum history today, this volume represents the cream of the cream." Edward Shorter, American Journal of Psychiatry

"Basing their analyses on archival data, they present nuanced and subtle interpretations that offer fresh insight into the mental-health policies of different nations...these younger historians offer a complex model that grows out of deep research...Such research can also have contemporary policy implications." Nature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521283342
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/16/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Roy Porter was Professor of the Social History of Medicine, Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London. He died in March 2002.

David Wright is Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences and Department of History, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

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Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Notes on contributors
1 Insanity, institutions and society: the case of the Robben Island Lunatic Asylum, 1846-1910
2 The confinement of the insane in Switzerland, 1900-1970: Cery (Vaud) and Bel-Air (Geneva) asylums
3 Family strategies and medical power: 'voluntary' committal in a Parisian asylum, 1876-1914
4 The confinement of the insane in Victorian Canada: the Hamilton and Toronto asylums, c. 1861-1891
5 Passage to the asylum: the role of the police in committals of the insane in Victoria, Australia, 1848-1900
6 The Wittenauer Heilstatten in Berlin: a case record study of psychiatric patients in Germany, 1919-1960
7 Curative asylum, custodial hospital: the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum and State Hospital, 1828-1920
8 The state, family and insane in Japan, 1900-1945
9 The limits of psychiatric reform in Argentina, 1890-1946
10 Becoming mad in revolutionary Mexico: mentally ill patients at the General Insane Asylum, Mexico, 1910-1930
11 Psychiatry and confinement in India
12 Confinement and colonialism in Nigeria
13 'Ireland's crowded madhouses': the institutional confinement of the insane in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Ireland
14 The administration of insanity in England 1800-1870
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