Book announcement – Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750-2010

Note that Dr Jennifer Laws, a member of Durham’s Centre for Medical Humanities, is a contributor (see “The hollow gardener and other stories: Reason and relation in the work cure”) to this volume — which we imagine will be of interest to many of our readers.


Screenshot from 2015-05-03 12:06:21Work and psychiatry seems to be the new ‘hot’ topic in the history of psychiatry. Our latest post was dedicated to this theme, and this book announcement is also related to “Work, psychiatry and society”. The blurb of the volume edited by Waltraud Ernst announces:

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 welfare and control policies and economic conditions. They explore 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…

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