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    The uses and misuses of television in long-stay psychiatric and 'mental handicap' wards, 1950s-1980s

    Hide, Louise (2020) The uses and misuses of television in long-stay psychiatric and 'mental handicap' wards, 1950s-1980s. In: Ankele, M. and Majerus, B. (eds.) Material Cultures of Psychiatry. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript, pp. 186-201. ISBN 9783837647884.

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    Despite the growing ubiquity of televisions in hospital wards in the UK and America from the 1950s, little in-depth research has been conducted by historians on the relationality between the new technology, the long-term ward space, and its occupants. In this essay, I draw mainly on studies into the effects of the ward environment on patients. While long-stay psychiatric and 'mental handicap' wards were occupied by people with different mental and physical abilities and needs, often at different stages of their lives, I want to demonstrate how the mutable ontology of the television set could affect the lived experiences of vulnerable patients. How, I ask, did the television as an object in and of itself gain agency and influence the rhythms, routines and social relationships within different spatial and temporal contexts? Contrasting the ways in which the activity of television watching was constituted by perceptions of patients’ cognitive, intellectual, sensory, and physical abilities in different ward spaces reveals much about attitudes and practices of the time.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: Cultures of Harm in Residential Institutions for Long-term Adult Care, Britain 1945-1980s
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Television. Long-stay wards. Psychiatric. Learning disability.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Louise Hide
    Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2020 09:53
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:01


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