Madness

ISBN-10: 0199608032

ISBN-13: 9780199608034

Edition: 2011

Authors: Andrew Scull
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Description: Madness is something that frightens and fascinates us all. It is a word with which we are universally familiar, and a condition that haunts the human imagination. Through the centuries, in poetry and in prose, in drama and in the visual arts, its depredations are on display for all to see. A whole industry has grown up, devoted to its management and suppression. Madness profoundly disturbs our common sense assumptions; threatens the social order, both symbolically andpractically; creates almost unbearable disruptions in the texture of daily living; and turns our experience and our expectations upside down. Lunacy, insanity, psychosis, mental illness - whatever term we prefer, its referents are disturbances of reason, the passions, and human action that frighten, createchaos, and yet sometimes amuse; that mark a gulf between the common sense reality most of us embrace, and the discordant version some humans appear to experience. Social responses to madness, our interpretations of what madness is, and our notions of what is to be done about it have varied remarkably over the centuries. In this Very Short Introduction, Andrew Scull provides a provocative and entertaining examination of the social, cultural, medical, and artistic responses to mental disturbance across more than two millennia, concluding with some observations on the contemporary accounts of mental illness.

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Book details

List price: $11.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/2/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 152
Size: 4.25" wide x 6.75" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.462
Language: English

Andrew Scull was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He obtained his B.A. with first-class honors from Balliol College at the University of Oxford in politics, philosophy, and economics, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. From 1976 to 1977, he was a postdoctoral fellow in medical history at University College London. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and the University of California, San Diego, where he has been Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies since 1994.Among others, he has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, and he has served as director of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on "Madness and Society." From 1992 to 1993, he was president of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.Scull's work has been translated into Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and German. He has published more than 100 articles in leading journals in law, psychiatry, sociology, medical history, social history, neurology, and medicine. His many books include Decarceration (1977, 2nd ed. 1984); Museums of Madness: The Social Organization of Insanity in Nineteenth Century England (1979); The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, 1700-1900 (1993); Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine (2005); and Hysteria (2009).

Acknowledgements
List of illustrations
Madness unbound
Madness in chains
Madness confined
Madness and meaning
Madness denied
Madness cast out
Further reading
Index
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