nature of the concept of obesity
itself; the vested interests that underpin the medical, scientific and media
discourses that surround it; the unintended consequences of the operation of these discourses; and question the very existence of the so-called
This chapter analyses recent Irish interventions into the ‘obesity’ discourse from this critical stance. It focuses on evidence from the first (and
increasingly influential) longitudinal study of children in Ireland – Growing
Up in Ireland (GUI) – and how its findings have entered the media and
Anecdotal evidence of the testimonies of patients who received treatments for sexual deviations and medical attitudes towards them are scattered in the recorded accounts of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex and queer/questioning (GLBTIQ) people. This book examines the plight of men who were institutionalised in British mental hospitals to receive 'treatment' for homosexuality and transvestism, and the perceptions and actions of the men and women who nursed them. It explores why the majority of the nurses followed orders in administering the treatment - in spite of the zero success-rate in 'straightening out' queer men - but also why a small number surreptitiously defied their superiors by engaging in fascinating subversive behaviours. The book is specifically about the treatments developed for sexual deviations in the UK. Transvestism was also treated fairly widely; however, not to the same extent as homosexuality. After an examination of the oppression and suppression of the sexual deviant, the introduction of aversion therapies for sexual deviance is considered. During the 1930s-1950s, mental health care witnessed a spirit of 'therapeutic optimism' as new somatic treatments and therapies were introduced in mental hospitals. The book also examines the impact these had on the role of mental nurses and explores how such treatments may have essentially normalised nurses to implement painful and distressing 'therapeutic' interventions . The book interprets the testimonies of these 'subversive nurses'. Finally, it explores the inception of 'nurse therapists' and discusses their role in administering aversion therapy.
Recent years have witnessed a burgeoning international literature which seeks to analyse the construction of health and health policy through an analytical lens drawn from post-Foucauldian ideas of governmentality. This book is the first to apply the theoretical lens of post-Foucauldian governmentality to an analysis of health problems, practices, and policy in Ireland. Drawing on empirical examples related to childhood, obesity, mental health, smoking, ageing and others, it explores how specific health issues have been constructed as problematic and in need of intervention in the Irish State. The book focuses specifically on how Jean Jacques Rousseau's critical social theory and normative political theory meet as a conception of childhood. The 'biosocial' apparatus has recently been reconfigured through a policy framework called Healthy Ireland, the purpose of which is to 'reduce health inequalities' by 'empowering people and communities'. Child fatness continues to be framed as a pervasive and urgent issue in Irish society. In a novel departure in Irish public health promotion, the Stop the Spread (STS) campaign, free measuring tapes were distributed throughout Ireland to encourage people to measure their waists. A number of key characteristics of neoliberal governmentality, including the shift towards a market-based model of health; the distribution of power across a range of agents and agencies; and the increasing individualisation of health are discussed. One of the defining features of the Irish health system is the Universal Health Insurance and the Disability Act 2005.
Athletes start the century as normal, healthy citizens, and end up as potentially unhealthy physiological 'freaks', while the general public are increasingly urged to do more exercise and play more sports. This book offers a comprehensive study, and social history, of the development of sports medicine in Britain, as practiced by British doctors and on British athletes in national and international settings. It describes how and why, in Britain, medicine applied to sport became first an area of expertise known as sports medicine, and then a formal medical specialty: Sport and Exercise Medicine. In the late nineteenth century, vigorous exercise was an acceptable, probably necessary, part of the moderate healthy lifestyle for the normal, healthy man. Consequently sports medicine was part and parcel of normal medical treatment, distinguishable only through its location or through its patient history. There was no wide-spread de facto scepticism about the value of vigorous exercise among physicians and scientists. The normality of the young male athlete is reconsidered between 1928 and 1952. At the end of the period, the athlete becomes an abnormal or supernormal human being who demands specialist medical interventions. The formation and work of British Association of Sport and (Exercise) Medicine, the Institute of Sports Medicine, the Sports Council, and the British Olympic Association's Medical Committee is discussed. The book finally discusses fitness. Normal life, war, elite competition gives us an insight into how athletic bodies are conceptualised, and how sports medicine has formed and reformed over a century.
Concepts of ‘balance’ have been central to modern politics, medicine and society.
Yet, while many health, environmental and social challenges are discussed
globally in terms of imbalances in biological, social and ecological systems,
strategies for addressing modern excesses and deficiencies have focused almost
exclusively on the agency of the individual. Balancing the Self explores the
diverse ways in which balanced and unbalanced selfhoods have been subject to
construction, intervention and challenge across the long twentieth century.
Through original chapters on subjects as varied as obesity control, fatigue and
the regulation of work, and the physiology of exploration in extreme conditions,
the volume analyses how concepts of balance and rhetorics of empowerment and
responsibility have historically been used for a variety of purposes, by a
diversity of political and social agencies. Historicising present-day concerns,
as well as uncovering the previously hidden interests of the past, this volume’s
wide-ranging discussions of health governance, subjectivity and balance will be
of interest to historians of medicine, sociologists, social policy analysts, and
social and political historians alike.
s and 1970s, and the DHSS and MRC had engaged with questions about drug safety. 2 However, there was little in the way of concerted government programmes or interventions. This changed considerably in the 1980s. The volume of parliamentary discussion increased greatly, as technological innovations and concerns about complications became subject to debate and the limitations of NHS resources. 3
In part, this chapter argues, the reappearance of diabetes was predicated upon networks of exchange developed over the post-war period. For instance
Diseases Acts, which first appeared to endorse medical intervention for the good of public health but then attracted outspoken
opposition to compulsory examination. In this way, medical professional authority was rendered highly unstable in the 1860s despite, and
partly because of, legal change deriving from a professionalising agenda.
At the same time professionalising forces presented enormous conflicts to medical masculinity, where the latter was always at variance
with the norms of middle-class expectation. In the mid nineteenth
century, when the domestic ideal was
The introduction of a state-funded asylum system to Ireland in 1817
occurred in the context of increased state intervention in social, medical
and welfare services following the 1800 Act of Union. Its introduction
reflected medical, social and political support for the institutionalisation of
the mentally ill. Nonetheless, the ‘politics of insanity’ and of institutional
provision were complex.1 Finnane’s analysis of the high politics of asylum
governance identified a centralised structure that reflected the ambivalent attitude within British
Nursing the victims of gas poisoning in the First World War
Christine E. Hallett
turn, found themselves struggling
with waves of seriously ill patients.
This chapter focuses on the hitherto unexplored work of those
allied nurses who were based in CCSs and base hospitals on the
Western Front, and casts light on the hidden nature of nursing work.
It also explores the idea that working with the victims of poison gas
permitted nurses to identify themselves as significant participants
in the allied war effort. Alongside their medical colleagues, nurses
were able to implement life-saving, emergency interventions. But
they were also
low recovery rates.32 As the main architect of the 1843 privy council rules,
White’s intervention was critical. When introduced, the rules demoted
lay managers and entrusted patients’ moral and medical treatment to
visiting physicians.33 After 1843 lay managers were required to ‘superintend and regulate the whole of the establishment’, maintain registers
and other documentation, and oversee the domestic staff including the
matron.34 He was still required to report on patients to governors and
the visiting physician but he had to defer to the