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4.4 Outside the asylum walls: limits to the primacy of the asylum as a solution

Although historians have written about the asylum as the only response to insanity, there was in fact a widely used alternative. Boarding-out, or ‘family care’ of the insane, offered a genuine alternative to asylumdom. The exact form of boarding-out differed from one national and regional context to another, but basically it supported patients within domestic and often rural settings, generally with guardians or relatives in single dwellings and cottages. The practice had long been
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4.2 Social factors in the growth of the asylum: industrialisation, urbanisation and migration

Many historians link the rise of the asylum with the huge social changes of the nineteenth century. Some link the rise to industrialisation and urbanisation, pointing to the fact that asylums grew up in industrial regions and large cities. Frank Rice, for example, argues that in Scotland the great majority of asylums grew up if not within urban centres, then at least servicing urbanised communities, in the central belt of Scotland (Author(s): The Open University

4.1 Introduction

In the nineteenth century, the asylum became – as never before – the accepted place for the care and treatment of insanity. Until that time, people suffering from mental disorders were mostly cared for at home. Of the few institutions that offered care, most were rather small. They were funded by a combination of fees charged to patients and charitable donations or subscriptions. From the early nineteenth century, the number of asylums increased all over Europe as governments accepted a r
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3.4 War and women in medicine

Until 1914, the number of women attending medical schools grew slowly (Figure 4). In Britain, even after the 1876 Enabling Act allowed medical examining boards to grant licences to women, universities could still legally exclude women from their medical schools. By
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3.3 The reasons for – and emergence of – women working in medicine

Why in the face of such resistance did women wish to become doctors at all? Until recently, many authors have argued that women pursued a medical career as a form of service and for altruistic reasons. Women doctors claimed to be serving the public (one of the features of a profession) by preserving the modesty of women patients and ending their suffering at the hands of male doctors who did not understand the female body. This idea of women being called to serve for the betterment of others
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3.2 The push for – and opposition to – women in medicine

In Britain, the campaign for access to the medical profession began at Edinburgh University in 1869, and was led by Sophia Jex-Blake (1840–1913). Influenced by the feminist movement of the time, Jex-Blake had a wide-ranging education and was keen to earn an independent living. She fought a relentless battle with the Edinburgh University authorities. Initially, the university refused to admit a lone female student, so Jex-Blake recruited a small group of women. Once admitted, the women were
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3.1 Introduction

Women have always cared for the sick. They have nursed family members within the home and worked as nurses, healers and midwives within the community. In the eighteenth century, a few women worked as ‘doctresses’ and ‘surgeonesses’, having received some form of training similar to male practitioners. However, when formal medical training began to be developed in hospitals and medical schools in the early nineteenth century, women were not admitted. Thus they were excluded from the ran
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2.2 Unity and conflict

In the nineteenth century, licensing reform and developments in medical education brought a new unity to the profession. Students had a similar education, trained in large groups and developed a strong sense of allegiance to their institutions and to their teachers (see
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2.1 Introduction

In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, fundamental and sweeping changes took place in medical training and practice. Apprenticeships, which were once the most common form of medical training, gradually disappeared, and a university education became the norm for all practitioners. Responsibility for licensing practitioners shifted from the old medical guilds and colleges to the state and then back into the hands of medical men. The last remnants of the division of practitioners into
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1.2 The laboratory in diagnosis

Different fields of laboratory research offered a range of new diagnostic techniques. Bacteriological research into the identity of disease-causing microorganisms provided practitioners with a new and accurate means of diagnosing cases of infectious disease. By the 1890s, specimens from patients suspected of suffering from tuberculosis or diphtheria were routinely cultured to confirm a diagnosis made on the basis of symptoms (Worboys, 2000, pp. 211–16, 252–7). Laboratory equipment used to
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1.1 Transforming practice

‘Laboratory medicine’ represented a fundamental shift away from the established view of the body and disease. Where hospital medicine saw disease as a collection of symptoms in life, which related to changes in body structure discovered at post-mortem examination, laboratory medicine sought to explain the structure of the body at the cellular level and to describe its function as a complex series of dynamic processes. Within this medical cosmology, the laboratory usurped the hospital as t
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10 Working-class distress and planned communities

Meanwhile Owen's views on the problem of poverty were also much influenced by his experience at New Lanark and had particular relevance to the difficult era that opened up after the Napoleonic Wars. Economic depression exacerbated growing problems of poverty and unemployment, and Lord Liverpool's government struggled against a rising tide of disorder, which was manifest in protests and riots. The relief of poverty, which had been a problem before, became a nightmare. While he may have had no
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4.5 Owen at New Lanark 1800–c.1812

At New Lanark Owen quickly initiated changes, some of which he describes in the Second Essay. As in Manchester he placed much emphasis on environmental improvements such as street cleansing, better domestic hygiene, sanitation and water supply. Those designed to enhance efficiency and productivity included new rules and regulations about factory discipline and in 1803–4 installing new machinery. By 1806, and partly on the grounds of cost, he was abandoning the system of pauper apprentices (
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4.4 Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society and Board of Health

In the meantime Owen joined the town's social and intellectual elite, which like its politics was largely dominated by Dissenters. They were prominent in the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society which Owen joined in 1793. There he associated with some significant reformers, heard papers on a wide range of intellectual, industrial and social topics, and himself presented papers dealing with such issues, including one on education.

The society was founded in 1781, the co-founders b
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Introduction

Robert Owen (1771–1858) (see Figure 1) was one of the most important and controversial figures of his generation. He lived through the ages of Enlightenment and Romanticism and was personally touched by the ideas and dramatic changes that characterised that era. Profiting enormously during the first half of his life from the prog
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5.2 Background to Theory of the Earth

The two volumes of Theory of the Earth embody a startlingly original conception of the processes which shape the earth's surface, and they contain some vivid observations, drawn from Hutton's travels. However, they are poorly organised, repetitive and sometimes obscure. In a most helpful survey of Hutton's work, from which this section draws liberally, Jean Jones quotes from a wonderfully direct letter that a saddlesore Hutton wrote while on a field-trip in Wales: ‘Lord pity the arse
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3.4 The role of the Edinburgh Town Council

This route incidentally leads us to another important feature of the movement, namely the role of the Edinburgh Town Council and its provosts. (The English equivalent would be a lord mayor.) Throughout the eighteenth century, the Town Council, with a policy of enlightened self-interest, promoted the city by sponsoring or patronising its academic, medical and scientific life. The Council regarded the city's university, infirmary and medical school as institutions which, if given enough prestig
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3.1 Clubs and societies

The milieu was urban. It was not a business of isolated individuals working in country estates, or of secluded academics, cloistered within unworldly universities. The scene was convivial, social. The focus was Edinburgh, although Glasgow and Aberdeen were active too. Cities were small. Even the capital was intimate enough for its intelligentsia to be able to meet regularly and casually. ‘Here I stand, at what is called the Cross of Edinburgh’, wrote an excited visitor, ‘and within a fe
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3.2 The people who make adinkra

Activity 8

Once you’ve watched the video, make a few notes on what you learnt about the people who make adinkra.


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3.1 The people who make kente

In Section 3 you will learn more about the people who make kente and adinkra.

Activity 7

Once you’ve watched the video, make a few notes on what you learnt about the people who make kente.

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