Questions of Power: The Politics of Women's Madness Narratives

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9780874137439: Questions of Power: The Politics of Women's Madness Narratives
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Questions of Power: The Politics of Women's Madness Narratives is a study of autobiographical writing by women who were diagnosed with psychiatric conditions. The book explores the psychiatric pathologizing of women and the ways in which women have used autobiographical writing to rebel against forced treatment and incarceration. It also outlines the history of psychiatric treatment in the United States and examines the connection between larger social movements and reforms in the care of women mental patients. Among the American women whose narratives are discussed in the book are Elizabeth Packard, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Mary Jane Ward, Joanne Greenberg, Jill Johnston, Kate Millett, and Susanna Kaysen. The book explores cross-contextual implications by analyzing autobiographical work by African writer Bessie Head and New Zealand writer Janet Frame. By addressing health and healing from the perspective of women patients, the book raises significant questions about psychiatric practice and mental health policy.

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