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Title: The emergence of the carer : mental health care in England and Wales, c. 1946-1999
Author: Sewell, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 2171
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the emergence of the family carer in English and Welsh mental health care, from the inception of the National Association for the Parents of Backwards Children in 1946 until the publication of the National Strategy for Carers in 1999. Rather than being primarily concerned with the day-to-day experiences of these family care-givers, the focus of this thesis, drawing upon Professor Ian Hacking’s theories as a starting point, is on the history of ideas and the emergence of the family carer as a category. With specific reference to familial care of relatives with a mental illness or a learning disability, I consider how and why the term ‘carer’ did not come into widespread usage until the 1980s. As the British government moved towards an explicit policy of deinstitutionalisation and community care in the 1960s, concern was raised that care in the community would in reality mean care by the family. For some this was a concern because they were worried about the well-being of the affected families, whilst for others they were concerned about the potential pathological impact of the family. Through this qualitative study of the family carer, I argue that whilst families have cared for relatives with mental illnesses and learning disabilities for centuries, during the post-war years this role was discussed, acknowledged, politicised, negotiated, and challenged to a much greater extent. Indeed, by 1999 family carers were recognised in their own right rather than exclusively in relation to the person they cared for. The story of the emergence of the family carer contributes to, and in some respects destabilises, current literature on the histories of mental health care, community care, the family, the psychosocial, the welfare state, and voluntary action.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain