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Author Baum, Emily, author.

Title The invention of madness : state, society, and the insane in modern China / Emily Baum
Published Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2018
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource
Series Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University.
Contents Contracting the "mad illness" -- The birth of the Chinese asylum, 1901-1918 -- The institutionalization of madness, 1910s-1920s -- The psychiatric entrepreneur, 1920s-1930s -- From madness to mental illness, 1928-1935 -- Mental hygiene and political control, 1928-1937 -- Between the mad and the mentally ill
Summary This book traces a genealogy of madness in China from the turn of the twentieth century to the onset of war with Japan in 1937, revealing the complex and convoluted ways in which "madness" was transformed in the Chinese imagination into "mental illness." Throughout most of history, the insane in China were kept within the home and treated by healers who claimed no specialized knowledge of the condition. In the first decade of the twentieth century, however, psychiatric ideas, vocabularies, and institutions gradually began to influence longstanding beliefs about the proper treatment for the mentally ill. Although many of these ideas were introduced to China from abroad, they were not retained wholesale; instead, psychiatric concepts were often changed, reinterpreted, and redeployed in ways that were unique to urban China at this particular historical moment. Focusing on typically marginalized historical actors, including municipal functionaries, the police, asylum workers, and the urban poor, The Invention of Madness shifts our attention from the elite desire for modern medical care to the ways in which psychiatric discourses were implemented and redeployed in the midst of everyday life. New meanings and practices of madness, the book argues, were not just imposed onto the Beijing public but continuously "invented" by a range of actors in ways that reflected their own needs and interests
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Online resource; title from PDF title page (EBSCO, viewed September 21, 2018)
Subject Mental health services -- China -- History -- 20th century
Mental illness -- China -- History -- 20th century
Mental Health Services -- history.
Mentally Ill Persons -- history.
Mental health services.
Mental illness.
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Public Policy -- Social Security.
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Public Policy -- Social Services & Welfare.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 022658075X