Sex and Seclusion, Class and Custody

Sex and Seclusion, Class and Custody : Perspectives on Gender and Class in the History of British and Irish Psychiatry

Volume editor Anne Digby

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This innovative collection of essays employs historical and sociological approaches to provide important case studies of asylums, psychiatry and mental illness in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Leading scholars in the field working on a variety of geographical, temporal, socio-cultural, economic and political contexts, show how class and gender have historically affected and conditioned the thinking, language, and processes according to which society identified and responded to the mentally ill. Contributors to this volume focus on both class and gender and thus are able to explore their interaction, whereas previous publications addressed class or gender incidentally, partially, or in isolation. By adopting this dual focus as its unifying theme, the volume is able to supply new insights into such interesting topics as patient careers, the relationship between lay and professional knowledge of insanity, the boundaries of professional power, and the creation of psychiatric knowledge. Particularly useful to student readers (and to those new to this academic field) is a substantive and accessible introduction to existing scholarship in the field, which signposts the ways in which this collection challenges, adjusts and extends previous perspectives.

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  • Paperback | 338 pages
  • 150 x 220 x 22mm | 539.78g
  • 01 Jan 2004
  • Brill
  • Editions Rodopi B.V.
  • Leiden
  • English
  • 9042011769
  • 9789042011762

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"...a fascinating read... It is greatly to be welcomed." in: Journal of the History of Medicine and allied Sciences, Vol. 61, No. 1, 2006 "Jonathan Andrews' and Anne Digby's exemplary and comprehensive introduction... This is an important book. It raises the discussion of nineteenth-century insanity and gender to a new level." in: History of Psychiatry, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2006, pp.373-6 "...this collection revisits familiar historical and geographical landscapes in a genuinely novel way. ...sophisticated case studies... Students should find these very readable accounts a useful way into the complex literature on the history of asylums and psychiatry, and even scholars familiar with the wider research...will want to take note." in: Medical History, Vol. 50, No. 1, 2006 "[The] contributions engage with an extensive and complex historiography. They also indicate new ways of interpreting the wider social, cultural, and political context." in: Social History of Medicine, Vol. 18, 2005, pp.333-4 "Andrews and Digby have assembled a collection of essays that demonstrate the complex ways in which gender and class simultaneously contribute to our understanding of the history of psychiatry... a set of articles that interrogate new source material, introduce innovative analytical themes, and collectively undermine theories of social control in psychiatry." in: Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, Vol 24, No 1 (2007), 243-245

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