Class, gender and madness in eighteenth-century Scotland.

Robert Allan Houston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter uses a wide range of qualitative and quantitative sources from eighteenth-century Scotland to ask whether identifying someone as mad was an arbitrary means of exerting power over them. Separate sections analyse the effect of gender and class on the constructions of mental disability. The conclusion is that rather than providing evidence of a crude bourgeois and/or male conspiracy, understandings of mental incapacity reveal in a subtle and nuanced way the nature and extent of distinctions between people based on their social status, age, occupation and sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-68
Number of pages24
JournalClio medica (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


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