in Balancing the self


The idea for this volume emerged from a conference held at the University of Exeter in 2016 as part of a broader research project investigating histories of concepts of balance in medicine. The papers presented, and subsequent discussion, developed our thinking about the relationships between contemporary discourses of balance and individual responsibility in the regulation of health in new directions, and we would like to thank the participants for their engagement and insight. Both were crucial in the genesis of this collection. Likewise, neither the conference nor this volume would have been possible without the generous support of the Wellcome Trust (Grant Reference 100601/Z/12/Z) and the broader Balance project team of Fred Cooper, Natasha Feiner, Ali Haggett, Nicos Kefalas, Ayesha Nathoo and Claire Keyte, to whom we are deeply grateful.

Collaboration with the scholars whose work appears in these pages has been a thoroughly enjoyable and intellectually enriching endeavour. We would like to thank them for their enthusiasm and engagement, which has not waned over the years it takes to get a volume like this to print. Equally, a great debt is owed to our series editor, David Cantor, for his encouragement and feedback on the manuscript at crucial stages, as well as to the team at Manchester University Press for their constant assistance throughout the production process. We would also like to thank colleagues at the Centre for Medical History and Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health for providing such open and collegiate atmospheres, from which volumes like these can emerge.

Finally, both editors would like to thank their families for their limitless understanding and support during the editing of this volume. It is to Siobhán, Ciara, Riordan, Conall and Lucy that we would like to dedicate the following work.

The editors and author would like to acknowledge that sections of Alex Mold’s chapter were previously published in Alex Mold, ‘“Everybody likes a drink. Nobody likes a drunk”: Alcohol, Health Education and the Public in 1970s Britain’, Social History of Medicine, 30:3 (2017), 612–36.

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Balancing the self

Medicine, politics and the regulation of health in the twentieth century


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