Madness in Buenos Aires: Patients, Psychiatrists and the Argentine State, 1880-1983 (Ohio RIS Latin America Series)
Publisher: University of Calgary Press, Ohio University Press; 1 edition (October 28, 2008)
Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub
Size: 5.5 MB
Downloadable formats: PDF
Drawing on a number of previously untapped archival sources, author Jonathan Ablard uses the experience of psychiatric patients as a case study of how the Argentine state developed and functioned over the last century and of how Argentines interacted with it. Ablard argues that the capacity of the state to provide social services and professional opportunities and to control the populace was often constrained to an extent not previously recognized in scholarly literature. These limitations, including a shortage of hospitals, insufficient budgets, and political and economic instability, shaped the experiences of patients, their families, and doctors and also influenced medical and lay ideas about the nature and significance of mental illness. Furthermore, these experiences, and the institutional framework in which they were imbedded, had a profound impact on how Argentine psychiatrists discussed not only mental illness but also a host of related themes including immigration, poverty, and the role of the state in mitigating social problems.