In 1965, the Canadian-born psychoanalyst and social scientist Elliott Jaques introduced a term – the midlife crisis – that continues to structure Western experiences and expressions of love and loss in middle age. Jaques's early work, carried out at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations during the 1940s and 1950s, had focused primarily on the ways in which social systems operated as forms of ‘defense against persecutory and depressive anxiety’ among their members, as well as a mechanism for protecting the
Cancer, modernity, and decline in fin-de-siècle Britain
decline, and constructed as a malady of modern life using long-standing and flexible disease metaphors.
In this way, the disease was used to interrogate those facets of society and culture that appeared new and ‘modern’ to nineteenth-century medical men.
Cancer in the nineteenth century
From the late eighteenth century, cancer was increasingly addressed in both medical practice and culture, corresponding with rising popular and professional anxiety about the disease. Cancer
Visualising obesity as a public health concern in 1970s and 1980s
campaign reached a large proportion of the population through its multi-media approach, and later evaluation studies suggested it was successful in securing more widespread awareness of the routes to ‘better health’.
The development of the ‘Look After Yourself’ campaign was the culmination of a major shift in public health that took place in the decades after the Second World War. The rise of risk factor epidemiology in Western medical science and its importation into health
missionary endeavour, occurred within a period otherwise distinguished, according to Jane Samson, by an emerging sense of ‘imperial benevolence’ in which ‘Christian piety, public duty and particular constructions of race and culture’ informed ‘a powerful alliance between humanitarian activism and naval power’.
The clamour which surrounded the perceived martyrdom of the Royal Navy's ‘strikingly modern’ and Christian luminary thus underlined the dialectical and introspective nature of the much-championed humanitarian ethos
-war period may be explained by the way in which the British welfare state had been predicated on a heteronormative male breadwinner model, and it is perhaps unsurprising that justifications for, and culture of, self-care thus remained gendered.
In practice, where clinical staff offered training in self-care, discrimination did not take place along gender lines, with education delivered to all adult patients and the parents of children with diabetes.
, generalists attacked specialisation as a dangerous innovation of little medical value. 71 Such criticism, moreover, carried an ideological edge. Opponents condemned specialists for focusing on specific diseases and isolated parts of the body. Localised perspectives conflicted with a prevailing holistic medical culture, and generalists continued to argue that the effective understanding and treatment of illness required disease to be placed in the context of the whole patient. 72
Into the twentieth century, concerted opposition to specialisation faded
heart of Western civilisation. 17 Markets in such analyses represented not only the most efficient means for allocating resources, but also a political bulwark. Economic freedom and competition provided the basis for all liberty, and state encroachment here would inevitably result in political authoritarianism. 18 Moreover, in simple economic terms, thinkers such as Friedrich Hayek suggested that central planning and bureaucracy stunted creativity and spontaneous order, and crucially lacked the means to create and process all the information required for efficient
China, the poverty of Māori in New Zealand
and the isolation of Aboriginal settlements in Queensland. These situations were distinctly and often uncomfortably different from those
in which the European nurses had trained and previously practised.
Many faced unfamiliar languages. Some of the nurses learned the
languages of their clients and their students; others struggled with
and even without translators. Many faced unfamiliar local customs.
Some were so convinced of the superiority of Western medicine and
the imperial culture that they dismissed practices that were
Guerrilla nursing with the Friends Ambulance Unit, 1946–48
stories provides a different perspective,
allowing us to focus on the ‘lives of unknown or lesser known figures
so as to explore what their experiences can offer to our understanding
of an era, a movement or a culture’.2 Their experiences illuminate the
intersections of power with the matrix of faith, gender, class, race and
place that shaped FAU nurses’ work as civil war spread like wildfire.
Forced to renegotiate the fragile frontiers of its pacifist humanitarianism to maintain its organisational integrity, the Convoy became the
only Western aid agency to gain access
Contextualising colonial and post-colonial nursing
Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins
four chapters begin to
examine the embedding of Western-style nursing culture into indigenous cultures. These chapters widen our scope beyond the British
Empire to include not only Australia and New Zealand, but also the
Dutch East Indies and the American colonies of Puerto Rico and the
Philippines. Issues such as racism and clashes of culture now come to
the fore. The tensions between colonial nurses and their ‘Western’ culture of medicine and the traditional practices of indigenous trainees
Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins
and their patients are examined, as are