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Title: Reluctant patients : health, sickness and the embodiment of plebeian masculinity in nineteenth-century Britain : evidence from working men's autobiographies
Author: Hogarth, Stuart James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 6168
Awarding Body: London Metropolitan University
Current Institution: London Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is a contribution to the patient-centred history of medicine. It takes the historical agenda established by Dorothy and Roy Porter in their work on the Georgian middling sort and applies it to working-class men in nineteenth-century Britain. Thus it uses working men's autobiographies to explore conceptions of health, plebeian aetiology, the subjective experience of sickness, lay medicine and the doctor-patient relationship. The relationship between the poor and the medical establishment forms an underlying theme of an examination of working-class attitudes to public health, and the clinical encounter. As such this study contributes to debates about the power relationships central to the wider history of professionalisation. Rather than assuming a dominant role for the medical establishment this study explores the degree to which resources such as mutual aid within the family, community and workplace and alternative belief systems offered challenges to professional dominance of health matters. Just as the Porters' work was rooted in the burgeoning social history of the consumer world of Georgian Britain, so this study is a contribution to the social history of the British working-class. In this respect it has two main aims: the first is to add something to our understanding of plebeian masculinity and the gendered nature of class formation. Secondly, it links the history of medicine and the history of masculinity through the history of the body, in particular by problematising what can be termed the metanarrative of the disciplinary project of modernity which charts a revolution in embodied subjectivity, in which an undisciplined premodern body is gradually rendered docile by a variety of disciplinary processes and effects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: 300 Social sciences ; 940 History of Europe