Attending Madness: At Work in the Australian Colonial Asylum

Front Cover
Rodopi, 2008 - History - 266 pages
0 Reviews
'He is what we would call a very good attendant, who would not run away or flinch from any patient, but would try to have his orders carried out if possible.' Such was the view of William Coady, attendant to the insane in the British settler colony of Victoria, Australia in the 1870s.
Attending Madness is a history of William Coady's occupation, a history of asylum work and workers in nineteenth-century Australia. It considers not only who attendants were and why they worked in the asylum, but also how they and others variously defined 'the very good attendant'.
Colonial asylum advocates imagined the attendant as an archetype, drawing on ideas from Britain about the nature of insanity and its treatment. In exploring the articulation of these ideas in a colonial context, and their effect on the asylum workplace, Lee-Ann Monk makes an important contribution to the international history of the asylum. She also opens new dimensions in the history of this occupation, on which the fate of patients very much depended, by analysing attendants' efforts to construct an occupational identity and give meaning to their work, thus providing new insights into their sense of themselves and their occupation.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 An Asylum for the Safe Custod yand Proper Treatment of the Insane
23
2 A Proper Man to Have Charge of Lunatics
41
3 We Have Always Conducted Ourselves Independently
61
4 Artisans of Reason
83
Excellent Attendants
105
6 A Different Class of Attendants
123
7 You Have to be Firm and Determined with Them
147
8 Some of Us are Married Men and Have Families
177
9 I Would Not Give an Ounce of Practical Experience for a Pound of Theory
201
Select Bibliography
229
Index
247
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Lee-Ann Monk is an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow (Industry) in the History Program, La Trobe University, Australia, where she is writing a history of Kew Cottages, Australia s first purpose-built institution for people with learning disability, as part of an interdisciplinary research team funded by an ARC-Linkage Grant.