Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Frihetens milda disciplin: normalisering och social styrning i svensk sinnessjukvård 1850-1970
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Culture and Media.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to describe and analyse the institutionalized Swedish Psychiatric practice during the period 1850 and 1970 - the era of the large mental hospitals - in terms of a modem disciplinary project. Point of departure relates to the meeting between the admitted patient and the educational work of the mental hospital and its everyday practice. The main sources of information for this study consists among other things of case sheets and texts closely related to the work of the mental hospitals.

The study has two important aspects. The first deals with the normalized procedures in the practice of mental care, and draws the attention to the relation between social and cultural standards and the way the mental hospitals reviews, treats and handles the patient. The second aspect deals with the actual administration and the techniques of the hospital to correct the patient and his/her actions in a desirable direction. An overarching discussion deals with the relation between liberating and Controlling practitioners, and how the Controlling power of the hospital relates to the modem society's conception of a independent man.

At the same time as the physical coercion of the mental hospital diminished, controlling methods were required which were not merely based on obedience and Submission, but also on the participation and will of the patient. Informal system of rewards, confession-techniques as well as various forms of a conditionalised and regulated freedom is combined with a more concealed potential of coercion of the institution. The compulsory work is being analysed as the most important educational therapy - both socially and ethically. Work is being described as a liberal Controlling technique. By connecting work to the system of rewards as well as increased physical freedom enables the hospital to exercise control and predictability without resorting to coercion.

How the hospital looked upon and handled the sexual body, and how cultural conceptions regarding sexual normality dominated the practical care-taking is being analysed with the starting point in case sheets. The sexual behaviour, especially concerning women, resulted in a meeting of different opinions between restraining and testing practitioners where moral reliability was a condition for physical freedom.

The thesis describes a movement over time towards increased physical freedoms for the patients of the mental hospitals. This did not imply that the control or the normalization decreased in intensity. But rather that the forms and the conditions for these processes changed. The freedom that was placed in sight was always connected with the well behaviour of the patient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2003. , 223 p.
Etnologiska skrifter, ISSN 1103-6516 ; 30
Keyword [en]
Modem psychiatric practise, power, normalization, social governing, practice-history, psychiatric treatment, asylums in Sweden, history of psychiatry
National Category
Ethnology History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-56805ISBN: 91-628-5791-6OAI: diva2:537631
Available from: 2012-06-27 Created: 2012-06-27 Last updated: 2012-09-21Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(10158 kB)1703 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 10158 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Eivergård, Mikael
By organisation
Culture and Media

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1703 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 441 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link