Power and the Psychiatric Apparatus: Repression, Transformation and Assistance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Power and the Psychiatric Apparatus

Repression, Transformation and Assistance, 1st Edition

By Dave Holmes, Jean Daniel Jacob


352 pages

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Paperback: 9781138367050
pub: 2018-08-14
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Drawing on a broad range of approaches in the fields of sociology, anthropology, political science, history, philosophy, medicine and nursing, Power and the Psychiatric Apparatus exposes psychiatric practices that are mobilized along the continuum of repression, transformation and assistance. It critically examines taken for granted psychiatric practices both past and current, shedding light on the often political nature of psychiatry and reconceptualizing its central and sensitive issues through the radical theory of figures such as Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Goffman, and Szasz. As such, this ground-breaking collection embraces a broad understanding of psychiatric practices and engages the reader in a critical understanding of their effects, challenging the discipline’s altruistic rhetoric of therapy and problematizing the ways in which this is operationalized in practice. A comprehensive exploration of contested psychiatric practices in healthcare settings, this interdisciplinary volume brings together recent scholarship from the US, Canada, the UK, Europe and Australia, to provide a rich array of theoretical tools with which to engage with questions related to psychiatric power, discipline and control, while theorizing their workings in creative and imaginative ways.


’This rigorous critique of psychiatry is not only warranted but adds substantially to the existing literature. Most unusually I loved every chapter. As the text notes this is not a text aimed at undergraduates but for the post grad and the experienced practitioner with time to reflect - this is a book to consume slowly and enjoy.’ Brodie Patterson, University of Stirling, UK ’’Power and the Psychiatric Apparatus is the successor to Foucault’s Madness and Civilization. Holmes, Jacob, and Perron have assembled a powerful collection of writers from across the humanities and the social and natural sciences who critically re-examine, reassess, and rethink the psychiatric apparatus. This book is essential reading for clinicians, academics, and for all who are concerned about the future of psychiatry.’ Cary Federman, Montclair State University, USA

About the Authors

Dave Holmes is Professor and University Research Chair in Forensic Nursing in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is co-editor of Critical Interventions in the Ethics of Healthcare, Abjectly Boundless: Boundaries, Bodies and Health Work and (Re)Thinking Violence in Healthcare Settings. Jean Daniel Jacob is Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Amélie Perron is Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Ottawa, Canada and co-editor of (Re)Thinking Violence in Healthcare Settings.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Psychiatry / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General