The Discovery Of The Asylum : Social Order And Disorder In The New Republic

The Discovery Of The Asylum Social Order And Disorder In The New Republic This reissue of a classic study addresses a core concern of social historians and criminal justice professionals Why in the early nineteenth century did a single generation of Americans resort for the

  • Title: The Discovery Of The Asylum : Social Order And Disorder In The New Republic
  • Author: David J. Rothman
  • ISBN: 9780316757713
  • Page: 349
  • Format: None
  • This reissue of a classic study addresses a core concern of social historians and criminal justice professionals Why in the early nineteenth century did a single generation of Americans resort for the first time to institutional care for its convicts, mentally ill, juvenile delinquents, orphans, and adult poor Rothman s compelling analysis links this phenomenon to a despThis reissue of a classic study addresses a core concern of social historians and criminal justice professionals Why in the early nineteenth century did a single generation of Americans resort for the first time to institutional care for its convicts, mentally ill, juvenile delinquents, orphans, and adult poor Rothman s compelling analysis links this phenomenon to a desperate effort by Jacksonian society to instill a new social order as it perceived the loosening of family, church, and community bonds As debate persists on the wisdom and effectiveness of these inherited solutions, The Discovery of Asylum offers a fascinating reflection on our past as well as a source of inspiration for a new century of students and professionals in criminal justice, corrections, social history, and law enforcement as they shape arguments for the reform of prisons and mental hospitals.

    One thought on “The Discovery Of The Asylum : Social Order And Disorder In The New Republic”

    1. I really enjoyed reading this book, though it did take me a while to read through it. Rothman advances an argument to explain why America turned to instituionalization of different classes of people during the Jacksonian period. His basic thesis is that medical elites feared the growing democratization of American society and therefore advanced the idea that institutionalization could make unproductive citizens productive and simletaneously serve as a model for the rest of the society.In Rothman [...]

    2. A brilliant book indeed. The argument is essentially this: Institutional care arose for convicts, orphans, the mentally ill, and poor in the early nineteenth century because Jacksonian society perceived a "loosening" of the social order (i.e. family, church, and community bonds). The anxiety manifested itself in the way the institutions were set up to operate: "The felt need for order and discipline affected psychiatrists, wardens, and superintendents had a root outside the asylum a society deep [...]

    3. This outstanding history of American efforts to develop new, more effective mental health institutions was a very worthy winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Award in 1971. It was a major work of an exciting new wave of American historiography which over the next 40 years would elevate American historical writing to a level equalled no where else in the world.American social history was has been particularly outstanding during this period. The basic approach is to combine the brilliant theory of th [...]

    4. It's hard to believe that this book originally appeared in 1971! It's over 40 years old and holds up incredibly well. I found Rothman's arguments about the development of the asylum, alms house and/or work house, penitentiary, and orphanages both interesting and useful. Rothman argues that historians should consider these institutions along a continuum and rejected the tendency for medical historians to look only at the asylum and legal historians to look only an penitentiaries, for example. Ins [...]

    5. My reading this year is circling a thread of incarceration and race, so I lucked out that a friend is teaching a grad course on the history of mass incarceration - this book is the foundational text I chose to join in on. Treats the early 19c invention of several institutions equally, despite the title: reformers bent on curing Crime, Poverty, Insanity by separating these populations from negative influences and instilling order and discipline. Rothman mostly lets the theories and justifications [...]

    6. Classic study of the institutionalization movement of the 19th century and a sharp critique of reformers during that era.

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