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Madness in its Place

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Madness in its Place

Narratives of Severalls Hospital 1913-1997


Paperback / softback

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Madness in its Place by Diana Gittins
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This fascinating study presents a unique social history of psychiatry in the twentieth century. It brings together the memories and narratives of over sixty patients and workers who lived, or were employed, in Severalls Psychiatric Hospital, Essex, England. Personal accounts are contextualised both in relation to wider developments and issues in twentieth-century mental health, and in relation to policies and changes in the hospital itself. Organised around the theme of space and place, and drawing upon both quantitative and qualitative material, chapters deal with key areas such as gender divisions, power relations, patterns of admission and discharge, treatments, and the daily lives and routines of patients and nurses of both sexes. Madness in its Place provides an unusual and very accessible account of trends and changes in the history of psychiatry during the twentieth century, while at the same time offering a lively narrative of the daily lives of those who worked and lived in a typical psychiatric hospital. It is valuable reading for anybody with an interest in mental health, hospitals and hospitalization, and social policy.
Release date Australia
April 2nd, 1998
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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