Madness and gender in the long eighteenth century

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The article uses a wide range of archival and literary sources to examine perceptions of mental incapacity. it looks first at what quantifiable measures may and may not tell us about the nature of madness in eighteenth-century Scotland and about the relationship between pathologies and the 'normal' structures of society. it seeks to test a common assumption or assertion that 'madness is a female malady because it is experienced by more women than men' (Showalter). It further questions whether those with mental problems were really just the victims of an oppressive (professional and male) form of discourse by offering a nuanced analysis of the social context in which mental disability was identified. The second half of the article explores certain qualitative aspects of how insanity was construed by the sane, in order to assess the extent of gendering in the day-to-day understanding of mental problems. These aspects include the connections between madness and issues such as emotion, language, class, suicide, alcohol and 'work'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-326
Number of pages18
JournalSocial History
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

Keywords

  • SEPARATE SPHERES
  • WOMENS HISTORY
  • 18TH-CENTURY
  • ENGLAND

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Madness and gender in the long eighteenth century'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this