‘is this the generation which will die before their parents because of their
This supplement, with its highly emotive language, was (and is) by no
means untypical. As a growing number of critical writers have observed,
construction of the contemporary global ‘obesity epidemic’ has adopted a
similar set of tropes wherever it has emerged. By contrast, ‘obesity research
critics’ question the popular and political consensus that the threat of everincreasing obesity rates, especially amongst children, is real and urgent.
They point to the socially constructed
Analysing mental health discourses and practices in Ireland
as having ‘widespread support
across the political spectrum and among people who use mental health services, their family supporters and professionals delivering services’ (Mental
Health Reform, 2015: 1). While providing a blueprint for the delivery of
mental health services in Ireland, AVFC also established an apparently more
comprehensive understanding of mental health than previous biomedical
definitions, with the document acknowledging ‘that there is a range of
factors which can influence mental health, including physical, psychological, social, cultural and
This book talks about late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English medical culture, a study of what it meant to be a doctor and how this changed over time. It presents a brief overview of the social, economic and cultural landscape of late eighteenth-century York. Medical culture and identity in late eighteenth-century York took shape within a social landscape shaped by the values of gentility, polite sociability and civic belonging. The book examines the role of intellectual liberality, demonstrating how public displays of polite and 'ornamental' learning were central to the performance of medico-gentility. It explores the incipient demise of this culture. Through a close reading of a scandal which enveloped the York Lunatic Asylum, it also explores the ways in which medical identities founded upon gentility and politeness were critically undermined by the political and social factionalism. The book looks at medical involvement in the provincial scientific movement, examining how local medical men positioned themselves relative to the so-called 'march of intellect', the cultural and ideological alignment between science and social reform. It continues this analysis in relation to the cholera epidemic of 1832 and other medico-political activities. The book considers how the professional dominion over healthcare was forged by the dual processes of inclusion and exclusion. It discusses the foundation of the Medical School in 1834 against the trial, in the same year, of a local salesman for James Morison's 'Universal Vegetable Medicine'.
This volume aims to disclose the political, social and cultural factors that
influenced the sanitary measures against epidemics developed in the
Mediterranean during the long nineteenth century. The contributions to the book
provide new interdisciplinary insights to the booming field of ‘quarantine
studies’ through a systematic use of the analytic categories of space, identity
and power. The ultimate goal is to show the multidimensional nature of
quarantine, the intimate links that sanitary administrations and institutions
had with the territorial organization of states, international trade, the
construction of national, colonial, religious and professional identities or the
configuration of political regimes. The circum-Mediterranean geographical spread
of the case studies contained in this volume illuminates the similarities and
differences around and across this sea, on the southern and northern shores, in
Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, English and French-speaking
domains. At the same time, it is highly interested in engaging in the global
English-speaking community, offering a wide range of terms, sources,
bibliography, interpretative tools and views produced and elaborated in various
Mediterranean countries. The historical approach will be useful to recognize the
secular tensions that still lie behind present-day issues such as the return of
epidemics or the global flows of migrants and refugees.
Explaining how leprosy was considered in various historical settings by referring to categories of uncleanliness in antiquity, is problematic. The book historicizes how leprosy has been framed and addressed. It investigates the history of leprosy in Suriname, a plantation society where the vast majority of the population consisted of imported slaves from Africa. The relationship between the modern stigmatization and exclusion of people affected with leprosy, and the political tensions and racial fears originating in colonial slave society, exerting their influence until after the decolonization up to the present day. The book explores leprosy management on the black side of the medical market in the age of slavery as contrasted with the white side. The difference in perspectives on leprosy between African slaves and European masters contributed to the development of the 'Great Confinement' policies, and leprosy sufferers were sent to the Batavia leprosy asylum. Dutch debates about leprosy took place when the threat of a 'return' of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. A symbiotic alliance for leprosy care that had formed between the colonial state and the Catholics earlier in the nineteenth century was renegotiated within the transforming landscape of Surinamese society to incorporate Protestants as well. By 1935, Dutch colonial medicine had dammed the growing danger of leprosy by using the modern policies of detection and treatment. Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies.
This book seeks to challenge the notion of the supremacy of the brain as the key
organ of the Enlightenment. It is done by focusing on the workings of the bowels
and viscera that so obsessed writers and thinkers during the long
eighteenth-century. These inner organs and the digestive process acted as
counterpoints to politeness and other modes of refined sociability, drawing
attention to the deeper workings of the self. The book complicates the idea that
discourses and representations of digestion and bowels are confined to so-called
consumption culture of the long eighteenth century, in which dysfunctional
bowels are categorised as a symptom of excess. It offers an interdisciplinary
and cross-cultural perspective on entrails and digestion by addressing urban
history, visual studies, literature, medical history, religious history, and
material culture in England, France, and Germany. The book explores the
metaphorical and symbolic connections between the entrails of the body and the
bowels of the city or the labyrinthine tunnels of the mine. It then illustrates
the materiality of digestion by focusing on its by-products and their satirical
or epistemological manifestations. The book expounds further on the burlesque
motif of the innards as it is used to subvert areas of more serious knowledge,
from medical treatises to epic literature or visual representation. Finally, it
focuses on drawings, engravings and caricatures which used the bowels, viscera
and entrails to articulate political protest, Revolutionary tensions and
subversion through scatological aesthetics, or to expose those invisible
This edited book offers a systematic critical appraisal of the uses of work and work therapy in psychiatric institutions across the globe, from the late eighteenth to the end of the twentieth century. Contributors explore the daily routine in psychiatric institutions within the context of the wider socio-political and economic conditions. They examine whether work was therapy, part of a regime of punishment, or a means of exploiting free labour. By focusing on mental patients’ day-to-day life in closed institutions, the authors fill a gap in the history of psychiatric regimes. The geographic scope is wide, ranging from Northern America to Japan, India and Western as well as Eastern Europe, and authors engage with broader historical questions, such as the impact of colonialism and communism, the effect of the World Wars, and issues of political governance and care in the community schemes.
Challenging the assumption that the stigma attached to mental illness stems from public ignorance and irresponsible media coverage, this book examines mental healthcare workers’ efforts to educate the public in Britain between 1870 and 1970. It covers a period which saw the polarisation of madness and sanity give way to a belief that mental health and illness formed a continuum, and in which segregative care within the asylum began to be displaced by the policy of community care. The book argues that the representations of mental illness conveyed by psychiatrists, nurses and social workers were by-products of professional aspirations, economic motivations and perceptions of the public, sensitive to shifting social and political currents. Sharing the stigma of their patients, many healthcare workers sought to enhance the prestige of psychiatry by emphasising its ability to cure acute and minor mental disorder. However, this strategy exacerbated the stigma attached to severe and enduring mental health problems. Indeed, healthcare workers occasionally fuelled the stereotype of the violent, chronically-ill male patient in an attempt to protect their own interests. Drawing on service users’ observations, the book contends that current campaigns, which conflate diverse experiences under the label mental illness, risk trivialising the difficulties facing people who live with severe and enduring mental disturbance, and fail to address the political, economic and social factors which fuel discrimination.
Drawing together essays written by scholars from Great Britain and the United States, this book provides an important contribution to the emerging field of disability history. It explores the development of modern transatlantic prosthetic industries in nineteenth and twentieth centuries and reveals how the co-alignment of medicine, industrial capitalism, and social norms shaped diverse lived experiences of prosthetic technologies and in turn, disability identities. Through case studies that focus on hearing aids, artificial tympanums, amplified telephones, artificial limbs, wigs and dentures, this book provides a new account of the historic relationship between prostheses, disability and industry. Essays draw on neglected source material, including patent records, trade literature and artefacts, to uncover the historic processes of commodification surrounding different prostheses and the involvement of neglected companies, philanthropists, medical practitioners, veterans, businessmen, wives, mothers and others in these processes. Its culturally informed commodification approach means that this book will be relevant to scholars interested in cultural, literary, social, political, medical, economic and commercial history.
During the nineteenth century, over 1.5 million migrants set sail from the British Isles to begin new lives in the Australian colonies. This book follows these people on a fascinating journey around half the globe to give a rich account of the creation of lay and professional medical knowledge in an ever-changing maritime environment. It shows how voyages to Australia partook of colonialism. On leaving the ports, estuaries, and harbours of Britain and Ireland, ships' captains negotiated the adverse winds of the English Channel and the Irish Sea before steering into the Atlantic and heading south-by-south west across the heavy swells of the Bay of Biscay. The book dwells in the tropics, where the experience of calms reinforced and extended preconceptions about the coast of West Africa. It discusses convicts, showing how scurvy became resurgent as British prison committees steadily reduced prison dietary rations during the 1820s and 1830s. Despite their frustrations, the isolation of the ocean and the vulnerability of convicts' bodies offered surgeons an invaluable opportunity for medical experimentation during the 1840s. The book also shows how a series of questions about authority, class, gender, and social status mediated medical relationships as the pressures of the voyage accumulated. Themes of mistrust, cooperation, and coercion emerged in many different ways during the voyage. Australia, where, as emigrants became immigrants, the uncertainties of government responsibility combined with a poisonous political atmosphere to raise questions about eligibility and the conditions of admittance to their new colonial society.