Mental Hygiene and Psychiatry in Modern Britain

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-05-10
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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What is self-government? How has it been related to mental health? In recent years Foucauldian analyses of the history of psychiatry have dominated the answers to these questions. Through an examination of the twentieth-century mental hygiene movement in Britain that uses previously unavailable archives and little-used primary literature, this book provides a counter-argument. Ironically taking as its template Michel Foucault's early interpretation of moral treatment and its status as a defining moment in the trajectory of modern psychiatry, this book places the mental hygiene movement within the broad sweep of modern British psychiatric history. It unfolds the combined psychological and political understandings of self-government that have informed important elements of psychiatry and become associated in particular with the promotion of mental health. From moral treatment, to theories informing nineteenth-century social casework, to the emergence and development of the mental hygiene movement, to its replacement by a consumer oriented and rights based movement, this book traces how conceptualisations of self-government and mental health have been transmitted and gradually transformed.

Author Biography

Jonathan Toms is a Fellow of the Institute for the History and Work of Therapeutic Environments. He has a PhD in the history of medicine and was a Wellcome Funded Research Fellow at the University of Warwick Centre for the History of Medicine, UK, from 2006-9. He has published articles on the history of mental health and learning disability.

Table of Contents

1. Moral Treatment and the 'Dialectic of the Family'
2. Moral Treatment for the Community at Large
3. The Mental Hygiene Movement's Emotional Contradictions
4. Dialectic Rightside Up?
5. Developing in the Womb of the Old?
6. Alternative Dialectics
7. Alienation Revisited
8. Dialectic Dismembered

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