Ricardo Campos
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Alcoholism, degeneration, madness and psychiatry in Spain, 1870–1920
in Alcohol, psychiatry and society
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This chapter locates the Spanish discourse on alcohol and drinking at the juncture where ‘vice’ and disease met. It examines the medical and psychiatric discourses between 1870 and 1923. During the earlier period, Spanish psychiatrists did not engage with alcohol-related problems and degeneration theory in the same way as their colleagues did in France, Germany and Britain. Nor were Spanish psychiatrists at the forefront in the fight against alcoholism alongside their fellow Spanish hygienists and social medicine practitioners. Until the mid-1890s ‘alcoholism’ and ‘alcohol insanity’ were rarely diagnosed in Spain. The chapter also reveals that the negative signposting inherent to degenerationism was used by Spanish psychiatrists primarily in courts of justice. Only from around 1895 did Spanish psychiatrists subscribe to the tenets of degeneration theory and engage with alcohol as a medical problem as promulgated in French psychiatry.

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Alcohol, psychiatry and society

Comparative and transnational perspectives, c. 1700–1990s

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