This collaborative volume explores changing perceptions of health and disease in
the context of the burgeoning global modernities of the long nineteenth century.
During this period, popular and medical understandings of the mind and body were
challenged, modified, and reframed by the politics and structures of ‘modern
life’, understood in industrial, social, commercial, and technological terms.
Bringing together work by leading international scholars, this volume
demonstrates how a multiplicity of medical practices were organised around new
and evolving definitions of the modern self. The study offers varying and
culturally specific definitions of what constituted medical modernity for
practitioners around the world in this period. Chapters examine the ways in
which cancer, suicide, and social degeneration were seen as products of the
stresses and strains of ‘new’ ways of living in the nineteenth century, and
explore the legal, institutional, and intellectual changes that contributed to
both positive and negative understandings of modern medical practice. The volume
traces the ways in which physiological and psychological problems were being
constituted in relation to each other, and to their social contexts, and offers
new ways of contextualising the problems of modernity facing us in the
Concepts of ‘balance’ have been central to modern politics, medicine and society.
Yet, while many health, environmental and social challenges are discussed
globally in terms of imbalances in biological, social and ecological systems,
strategies for addressing modern excesses and deficiencies have focused almost
exclusively on the agency of the individual. Balancing the Self explores the
diverse ways in which balanced and unbalanced selfhoods have been subject to
construction, intervention and challenge across the long twentieth century.
Through original chapters on subjects as varied as obesity control, fatigue and
the regulation of work, and the physiology of exploration in extreme conditions,
the volume analyses how concepts of balance and rhetorics of empowerment and
responsibility have historically been used for a variety of purposes, by a
diversity of political and social agencies. Historicising present-day concerns,
as well as uncovering the previously hidden interests of the past, this volume’s
wide-ranging discussions of health governance, subjectivity and balance will be
of interest to historians of medicine, sociologists, social policy analysts, and
social and political historians alike.
Feijoo versus the ‘falsely possessed’ in eighteenth-century Spain
et le corps (Paris, 1985); Jean Céard, ‘Folie et démonologie
au XVIe siècle’, in Folie et déraison à la Renaissance, Colloque International
(Brussels, 1976); Matthew Ramsey, ‘Magical Healing, Witchcraft and Elite Discourse
Beyond the witch trials
in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century France’, in Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra, Hilary
Marland and Hans de Waardt (eds), Illness and Healing Alternatives in Western Europe
(London and New York, 1997), pp. 14–37; Mary Lindemann, MedicineandSociety in
Early Modern Europe
Le Bone Florence of Rome and bourgeois self-making
the records of miracles assembled for the inquest into the sanctity
of St Louis, Farmer shows that poor men were particularly associated
with the body by the clerical compilers of this evidence for the saint’s
41 See Le Bone Florence, ed. Heffernan, p. 24.
42 For women’s role in the care of the sick, see Carol Rawcliffe, MedicineandSociety in Later Medieval England (Stroud, 1995), chs 8 and 9.
Gosling, ‘Paying for Health’,
Hilary Marland, MedicineandSociety in Wakefield
and Huddersfield, 1780–1870 (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1987); R.J. Morris, Class, Sect and Party. The Making of the
British Middle Class: Leeds, 1820–50 (Manchester: Manchester
University Press, 1990
emanating light it could never become ‘domestic lighting’.
For manufacturers, selling synthetic nature through
‘artificial sunlight’ was a risky business. A seductive ‘poison’, it was
equally so for those desiring to consume it. 162 While risk, in medicineandsociety,
is a culturally and historically specific concept, this chapter has focused
on the objects and images in terms of risk, danger, and bodily damage to
Kirsti Bohata, Alexandra Jones, Mike Mantin and Steven Thompson
18 GA, DBLI/RH/2, Minute Book, Special General Committee Meeting, 22 April
1925. The ‘Conditions of Service’ document was attached to the minutes, and
thus was written before the meeting took place.
19 For examples, see Mary Wilson Carpenter, Health, Medicine, andSociety in Victorian
England (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2010); Colin Lees and Sue Ralph, ‘Charitable
Provision for Blind People and Deaf People in Late Nineteenth Century London’,
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 4:3 (2004), pp. 148–60.
20 GA, DBLI/RH/15, Minute Book, Management