Immigrants, mental health and social institutions
Melbourne and Auckland, 1850s-1890s
in Insanity, identity and empire
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This chapter describes the worlds of migrants and their experiences of insanity, poverty, social institutions and the amelioration of their many difficulties in ‘settling’. This provide the focus for an argument about the imperial networks of welfare institutions and medical care in the 1850s to the 1890s. Mobility is again featured as a way of explaining the movement of peoples between social institutions, concerns about newcomers or ‘strangers’, as well as contemporary representations of immigrants in cities and the way that they symbolised the inherent tensions of white European settlement. Specifically the chapter. explores the histories of the Victorian Immigrants’ Homes from the 1850s, and touches on the histories of other welfare institutions such as homes for the aged poor in New Zealand, showing how in the absence of a Poor Law in the colonies, certain institutions for indoor and outdoor relief functioned for migrants. It explores welfare policy to some extent and examines in particular the medical relief offered to recipients of care and charity in the colonies. It also sets the scene for later chapters and their focus on gender.

Insanity, identity and empire

Immigrants and institutional confinement in Australia and New Zealand, 1873–1910


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