Institutionalizing Gender analyzes the relationship between class, gender, and psychiatry in France from 1789 to 1900, an era noteworthy for the creation of the psychiatric profession, the development of a national asylum system, and the spread of bourgeois gender values.
Asylum doctors in nineteenth-century France promoted the notion that manliness was synonymous with rationality, using this "fact" to pathologize non-normative behaviors and confine people who did not embody mainstream gender expectations to asylums. And yet, this gendering of rationality also had the power to upset prevailing dynamics between men and women. Jessie Hewitt argues that the ways that doctors used dominant gender values to find "cures" for madness inadvertently undermined both medical and masculine power—in large part because the performance of gender, as a pathway to health, had to be taught; it was not inherent. Institutionalizing Gender examines a series of controversies and clinical contexts where doctors' ideas about gender and class simultaneously legitimated authority and revealed unexpected opportunities for resistance.
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Cornell University Press
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nineteenth-century France, gender, family, institutionalization, madness, mental health
European History | Gender and Sexuality | History of Gender | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
European History Commons, Gender and Sexuality Commons, History of Gender Commons, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Commons, Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling Commons, Psychiatric and Mental Health Commons