Barbara Douglas
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Discourses of dispute
Narratives of asylum nurses and attendants, 1910-22
in Mental health nursing
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This chapter examines a major asylum dispute against the backdrop of deteriorating labour relations and efforts to reform care of the mentally ill after the devastation of the war years. Within this broader framework, and in a period when rigorous regulations, working hours, and penalties of instant dismissal for their breach, were placed upon asylum attendants and nurses, these staff were also evolving an organised challenge to their existing position through the National Asylum Workers’ Union. While the influence of the First World War is often seen as primary in such challenge, the growing sense of agency, and its organised expression through trade union activities and publications is shown to be vitally important. This chapter examines the evolving discourses of dispute in the social, political and personal narratives of asylum attendants and nurses in the County and Borough Asylums of England during this period.

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Mental health nursing

The working lives of paid carers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

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