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Author: Steven King

This book explores the experiences of the sick poor between the 1750s and through the so-called crisis of the Old Poor Law ending in the 1830s. It provides a comprehensive and colourful overview of the nature, scale and negotiation of medical welfare. At its core stand the words and lives of the poor themselves, reconstructed in painstaking detail to show that medical welfare became a totemic issue for parochial authorities by the 1830s. The book suggests that the Old Poor Law confronted a rising tide of sickness by the early nineteenth century. While there are spectacular instances of parsimony and neglect in response to rising need, in most places and at most times, parish officers seem to have felt moral obligations to the sick. Indeed, we might construct their responses as considerate and generous. To some extent this reflected Christian paternalism but also other factors such as a growing sense that illness, even illness among the poor, was and should be remediable and a shared territory of negotiation between paupers, advocates and officials. The result was a canvas of medical welfare with extraordinary depth. By the 1820s, more of the ill-health of ordinary people was captured by the poor law and being doctored or sojourning in an institution became part of pauper and parochial expectation. These trends are brought to vivid life in the words of the poor and their advocates, such that the book genuinely offers a re-interpretation of the Old Poor Law from the bottom up.

Nyasaland networks, 1859–1960
Author: Markku Hokkanen

David Livingstone's Zambesi expedition marked the beginning of an ongoing series of medical exchanges between the British and Malawians. This book explores these entangled histories by placing medicine in the frameworks of mobilities and networks that extended across Southern Africa and beyond. It argues that mobility was a crucial aspect of intertwined medical cultures that shared a search for therapy in changing conditions. The Malawi mission stations were the first permanent sites in which Western medicine was made available to Africans. Livingstonia's medical practice began in Cape Maclear in 1875, moved to Bandawe in the early 1880s and expanded to Ngoniland and north Lake Malawi. Lacking effective therapies to deal with the high levels of ill health and morbidity that plagued them, Europeans sometimes sought out cures and protection from indigenous African, Asian and American healers, many of whom were women. The lay practice of 'doctoring' African employees with elements of trickery continued into the later colonial period. Medical middles were among the most mobile individuals in colonial Southern Africa, moving as they did between mission, government and private sector employment, and across local and regional boundaries. The Second World War brought about major changes in the types of antimalarials available in the Nyasaland Protectorate and the wider empire, as quinine became a scarcer resource and new synthetic anti-malarials became more available. Western medicine became recognised as one resource among others in a pluralistic medical culture, but African medicine, for Europeans, became mainly an object of ethnographical and anthropological interest.

‘Left to the mercy of the world’
Author: Alysa Levene

This book examines the way in which abandonment to the London Foundling Hospital developed, and how it was used as a strategy by parents and parish officials. It also explores how it was mediated into health and survival outcomes for the infants involved. In considering pathways to health, ill-health and death for foundlings, the book engages with developments in childcare, ideas on childhood, motherhood and medicine, and a multitude of debates on charity, welfare, entitlement and patronage. The first half of the book is concerned primarily with the characteristics of the infants at abandonment, and how this affected their survival prospects. It gives significant insights into how abandonment worked as a poverty alleviation strategy in England, the condition of poor infants at birth and what their risk factors in terms of survivorship were. The second half of the book examines the critical nursing period for all foundlings placed with external nurses between 1741 and 1764. Since an infant's risk of death declines over time, this early experience captured much of their most vulnerable time of life. The hospital's records on nursing are enormously rich and detailed, and one of the benefits of this study is that it enables us to compare the foundlings' experiences of nursing, childcare and health with those of non-foundlings.

Open Access (free)
A Belated but Welcome Theory of Change on Mental Health and Development
Laura Davidson

depression worldwide increased by almost 50 per cent, from 172 million to 258 million ( Liu et al. , 2019 ), making it the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide ( WHO, 2017 ). Further, contrary to the popular belief that mental disorders such as depression are a western construct, more than 70 per cent of them occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) ( Rathod et al. , 2017 ). The previous UN Special

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

’s subsidy to a declining rate of profit. With fewer opportunities for men in the commodity chains that constitute the emerging global gig economy, so to speak, women are increasingly unlikely to withdraw from the labour force during their child-rearing years ( Dunaway, 2014 ). As the unequal distribution of chronic ill-health, under-nutrition and morbidity attest ( WHO, 2017 ), the social costs of this hyper-exploitation have been transferred with deleterious effects to a contained and largely urban precariat. Reflecting the parasitism of the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Alysa Levene

7 Childcare and health in a local setting he is hade the smolpx verry latle . . . Note left with child 5933, Peter Puff Admitted 10 October 1757 Reclaimed 6 June 1764 So far, the investigation of the London Foundling Hospital archive has focused predominately on the mortality rates and risks of the infants and children it cared for. This chapter considers questions of ill-health, which arguably gives a better impression of the everyday problems and experiences involved in caring for large numbers of small children. The health of nurslings was an immediate

in Childcare, health and mortality at the London Foundling Hospital 1741–1800
Nikolas Rose

refugee populations, in the global north and in megacities such as Mumbai, Shanghai and São Paulo in the global south. Some rates are elevated in some migrants, sometimes only in the second generation, but the findings are equivocal, and migration itself does not seem to be a consistent causal factor for mental ill health – indeed sometimes quite the reverse. Can we link biomedical explanations with sociological and anthropological research to understand the ways in which the experiences of poverty, inequality, precarity, gender discrimination, racism, stigma, social

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
M. Anne Brown

THERE ARE A number of avenues through which the ‘place’ of Indigenous people in Australia can be approached. One fundamental arena of struggle has been over land rights. The approach to rights taken here, however, starts from an account of suffering and sets out to trace the political roots of that suffering. One of the clearest forms of suffering to mark Aboriginal lives in Australia is entrenched and widespread ill-health. Thus, across the Indigenous community, the story is one of premature death, often from diseases associated with

in Human rights and the borders of suffering
Open Access (free)
Kirsti Bohata, Alexandra Jones, Mike Mantin, and Steven Thompson

industry posed the same variety or severity of risks to its workers or generated as large a number of disabled individuals on a daily basis. No other industry was required to organise itself to quite the same degree to respond to the lives and fates of people impaired in its ordinary functions. No other industry left such a legacy of ill-health, impairment and chronic sickness during the twentieth century. Former coalfield communities across Britain continue to suffer the legacy of nineteenth- and twentieth-century coal capitalism and continue to face high levels of

in Disability in industrial Britain
Karen Throsby

the research. Through this analysis, I  argue that the act of ‘swimming for…’ is a readily intelligible and sincerely intended means of constructing the good body/self, but that this simultaneously flattens out different forms of suffering and depoliticises social inequalities and ill health. Furthermore, the celebration of the endurance sporting body, and its reward through sponsorship, over-emphasises 103 Who are you swimming for? 103 individual accomplishment whilst understating the privilege that facilitates those status-bearing acts. I argue that these

in Immersion