Social Class and Mental Illness in Northern Europe  book cover
1st Edition

Social Class and Mental Illness in Northern Europe

ISBN 9781138361690
Published October 10, 2019 by Routledge
228 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the relationship between social class and mental illness in Northern Europe during the 20th century. Contributors explore the socioeconomic status of mental patients, the possible influence of social class on the diagnoses and treatment they received in psychiatric institutions, and how social class affected the ways in which the problems of minorities, children and various ‘deviants’ and ‘misfits’ were evaluated and managed by mental health professionals. The basic message of the book is that, even in developing welfare states founded on social equality, social class has been a significant factor that has affected mental health in many different ways – and still does.

Table of Contents


Petteri Pietikainen and Jesper Vaczy Kragh

Part I: Social Class and Mental Health Care

  1. Pity the Poor Patient: The Indigent Mentally Ill in Late 19th and Early 20th-Century Finland
  2. Petteri Pietikainen

  3. Mental Illness and Social Class in Northern Norway, 1900-1940
  4. Åshild Fause

  5. Citizens, Patients or Paupers? Class and Mental Health in Post-War Britain
  6. Vicky Long

  7. After Patient Murder. Asylum Psychiatry in the Four German Occupation Zones after World War II
  8. Maike Rotzoll

  9. Children on the Move. Psychiatric Encounters with Child Evacuees Returning to Post-War Finland
  10. Tuomas Laine-Frigren

    Part II: Psychiatry, Crime and Deviance

  11. Social Class and Opiate Addiction in European Psychiatry, 1870-1955
  12. Jesper Vaczy Kragh

  13. Psychopaths, Querulants and Class: On Controversial Diagnoses, Money, Norms, and Networks in Sweden in the 1930s and 1940s
  14. Annika Berg

  15. Unsound of Mind: Crime, Madness and Forensic Psychiatry in Denmark and Finland in the First Decades of the 20th century
  16. Jesper Vaczy Kragh and Petteri Pietikainen

  17. The Ideal of the Respectable Woman: Social Class and Femininity in Forensic Assessments of Female Patients at Østmarka Asylum, 1938–1969
  18. Maria Antonie Sæther

  19. Liberating the Deviants: How to Change the Politics of Social Control – a Case Study from Finland, 1967-1971

     Katariina Parhi and Mikko Myllykangas


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Petteri Pietikäinen is Professor of the History of Science and Ideas at the University of Oulu, Finland

Jesper Vaczy Kragh is principle investigator at Psychiatry Region Zealand and a Fellow at CoRe, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark