chapter analyses the processes by which neuromuscular relaxation functioned and proliferated as a taught practice. It is a study of health communication, education and management, which pays attention to material and audio-visual cultures and uncovers the mechanisms, expectations and consequences of teaching and learning relaxation. Whereas state-sponsored public health campaigns relating to smoking, alcohol, diet and exercise have been well documented by historians, the processes by which stress-management strategies were contemporaneously popularised and consumed have
Visualising obesity as a public health concern in 1970s and 1980s
for health education to make more effective use of the mass media so that campaigns could productively influence individuals to act on the advice given and demonstrate ‘self-discipline’ in controlling their behaviours.
The centrality of mass media techniques to the construction of the new public health ensured that visual communication techniques became valued tools of persuasion.
Visual culture has much to offer historical examinations of public health. Historians of visual culture and medicine
Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People and the hybrid pathways of Chinese
newer writing style influenced by Western practices.
However the Chinese Pink Pills advertisements that have been found are written in continuous text blocks without punctuation, following the assumption in most traditional forms of Chinese writing – much akin to the practice of scriptio continua in Classical Latin and Greek – that the educated and predominantly male reader will automatically recognise clausal and sentence breaks without the need for spaces and punctuation. The media and advertising culture of
In Self-Culture and the Perfection of Character ( 1847 ), the American phrenologist, Orson Fowler, offered phrenology as a remedy for those who ‘are daily and earnestly inquiring –“How can I REMEDY my defects? By what MEANS can I increase my deficient organs, and diminish or regulate those that are too large? … How can I make my children better?”’
Orson and his brother, Lorenzo, founded a phrenological and publishing empire in mid-nineteenth-century America that revitalised and popularised
Dietary advice and agency in North America and Britain
considerable changes in food processing and manufacturing, with an increasing number of pre-packaged and convenience foods.
More importantly, as Claude Fischler argues, during the twentieth century many regions of the developed world underwent a ‘McDonaldization of culture’, in which the major change was ‘a shift toward more individualised, less structured patterns of eating’.
Social factors also shaped food consumption. As Derek Oddy has suggested, in Britain ‘single
and licensing. 5 It was this conflation of debates over quality, cost, and accountability that produced calls for more formal systems of regulation for British medicine, and that set the stage for the construction of clinical guidelines.
Sustained public concerns over standards in British medicine first emerged during the late 1960s, propelled by an increasingly critical British media. Popular media interest in healthcare had increased over the post-war period. Whilst some doctors, particularly those involved in public health campaigns, could
of health and disease, it also served to structure treatments. Balance helped to configure practices and treatments designed to reduce pain, improve posture and mobility, and promote health by strengthening or restoring bodily and emotional stability. Some therapies, such as yoga, meditation, herbalism and certain forms of massage, originated in Indian, Chinese and Islamic medical cultures that foregrounded the attainment of balance or harmony as a pathway to health.
Others, such as Pilates (pioneered by the
People could choose to respond to illness or maintain their health within a broader culture of ‘healthism’ that situated the problem of sickness at the individual level.
A focus on individual behaviour thus resulted in a conception of the public as a collection of self-governing rational actors able to respond to public health messages and change their behaviours accordingly. The role of the state, from a neo-liberal perspective, was to facilitate the entrepreneurial actions of
within innovative organisational arrangements.
This chapter examines how creators of novel systems for diabetes management sought to answer these questions at a local level. Concentrating on the use of recall systems, patient records, and care protocol, it explores how practitioners drew upon pre-existing bureaucratic cultures of medicine, finding solutions to their concerns in the combination of instruments originally intended for refining patient surveillance. All three devices were initially designed to ensure timely review, to store and
integrity of the system itself.
During the following decades, Jaques became an influential figure in studies of bureaucracy, managerial accountability and leadership, as well as human capacity, work and social justice, introducing terms such as ‘corporate culture’ and ‘requisite organisation’ into discussions of occupational hierarchies and working practices. Jaques's contributions bridged a number of academic domains – including sociology, psychology, economics and applied research – but his theories of the