By Chris Millard
This e-book is open entry below a CC by way of license and charts the increase and fall of assorted self-harming behaviours in twentieth-century Britain. It places self-cutting and overdosing into historic standpoint, linking them to the massive alterations that happen in psychological and actual healthcare, social paintings and wider politics.
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Extra resources for A History of Self-Harm in Britain: A Genealogy of Cutting and Overdosing
The new body is not a disciplined object constituted by a medical gaze which traverses it, but a body fabricated by a gaze which surrounds it[,] ... 83 Further, the link between social relationships and stress is made clear by Armstrong through links with sociology: ‘In psychiatry, sociology has provided a rich and diverse contribution to the extension of the medical gaze[;] ... theoretically it, together with psychology, has helped to define basic concepts, such as stress and coping. 85 The idea that communication is central to mental illness is broadly characteristic of psychiatric thought after the Second World War.
A number of psychiatrists, including Frederick Hopkins in Liverpool (1937–43), Stengel in London (1952–8) and Ivor Batchelor in Edinburgh Self-Harm from Social Setting to Neurobiology 29 (1953–5) begin to exploit the uneasy cohabitation of general medical and psychiatric expertise in these ‘secure’ areas connected to various general hospitals. Suicide statistics from coroners’ court proceedings are thus fundamentally different to psychological analyses of attempted suicide from mental-observation wards.
8 The second characteristic, ‘violence’, is more self-explanatory. However, in this context it is not always clear whether 42 A History of Self-Harm in Britain the violence is imagined as predominantly self-directed or directed towards others (in the former case it is largely indistinguishable from a renewal of the attempt). Violence and renewal are central because if patients are thought likely to renew their attempt or use violence then the Home Office considers that police are obliged to watch them, or to pay for civilian watchers to ensure that this does not occur.
A History of Self-Harm in Britain: A Genealogy of Cutting and Overdosing by Chris Millard