The geography of institutional psychiatric care in France 1800-2000: Historical analysis of the spatial diffusion of specialised facilities for institutional care of mental illness
As in other European countries, specialised psychiatric hospitals were established throughout France during the 19th Century. The construction of these hospitals can be considered as the concrete expression of a therapeutic innovation which recognized insanity as an illness that could be treated in such specialised institutions. The spatial diffusion of these innovative institutions through 19th and 20th century France is analysed and we explore how far this can be understood through theories of diffusion of innovations including geographical models of hierarchical and expansion diffusion (or whether other conceptual models are more appropriate). The research reported here particularly focuses on the period 1800-1961. It involved the construction of an original historical database of both psychiatric hospitals and information on the cities where these institutions were located. This was used to examine and interpret the different phases of development of psychiatric institutions and the parts of the country and types of geographical setting where they were concentrated. A multiple correspondence analysis was then performed to examine the connections between different aspects of the diffusion process. The study shows the limitations of classical models of spatial diffusion, which are found to be consistent with some, but not all aspects of the development of psychiatric institutions in France. An alternative political ecology approach seems more appropriate to conceptualise the various processes involved; national policies, social representations, medicalisation of care of mental illness, and urban and economic growth all seem to be associated with the emergence of a variable and complex pattern. This paper also opens a large field of research. Compared with other western countries, the geography of French psychiatric care is relatively under-researched, although there has been a strong spatial dimension to mental health policy in the country. This analysis provides a context for studies of more contemporary processes of French deinstitutionalisation, which is strongly structured by the past heritage of these large asylum facilities.
Volume (Year): 71 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hoyez, Anne-Cécile, 2007. "The 'world of yoga': The production and reproduction of therapeutic landscapes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 112-124, July.
- Hunter, John M. & Shannon, Gary W. & Sambrook, Stephanie L., 1986. "Rings of madness: Service areas of 19th century asylums in North America," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1033-1050, January.
- Hogbin, Vanessa, 1985. "Railways, disease and health in South Africa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 933-938, January.
- Wallace, Rodrick & Wallace, Deborah, 1995. "U.S. Apartheid and the spread of AIDS to the suburbs: A multi-city analysis of the political economy of spatial epidemic threshold," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 333-345, August.
- Wood, Evan & Chan, Keith & Montaner, Julio S. G. & Schechter, Martin T. & Tyndall, Mark & O'Shaughnessy, Michael V. & Hogg, Robert S., 2000. "The end of the line: has rapid transit contributed to the spatial diffusion of HIV in one of Canada's largest metropolitan areas?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 741-748, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:71:y:2010:i:12:p:2117-2129. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.