HA87StudyGuide - UNIT THREE: 20 -CENTURY THEORY AND...

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UNIT THREE: 20 TH -CENTURY THEORY AND THERAPEUTICS Wed, March 3 1900-1930s: Preventing mental illness in the community: the rise of mental hygiene Reading Cohen, Sol, “The Mental Hygiene Movement, the Development of Personality and the School: The Medicalization of American Education,” History of Education Quarterly 23 (2) (Summer, 1983): 123-149 [ON-LINE SOURCE] (26) The Mental Hygiene Movement, the Development of Personality and the School:  the Medicalization of American Education  by Sol Cohen “Few intellectual and social movements of this century have had so deep and pervasive  an influence on the theory and practice of American education as the mental hygiene  movement” Schools began to have a responsibility for personality development of the child (we are  concerned with psychiatric conception of personality) “Development of personality” has special meaning in hygienist discourse:  Personality maladjustments are the cause of individual mental disorder and social  problems of all sorts Childhood is the critical period in the development of personality Children are extremely vulnerable to personality disorders The school is the strategic agency to prevent, or detect and “adjust” problems in the  children’s personality development The personality development of children must take priority over any other educational  objective Implications of this paper go beyond education—broader cultural phenomenon of  “emergence of psychological man” or “triumph of the therapeutic”—infiltration of  psychiatry into everyday culture Mental hygiene movement has roots in turn of the century Progressive reform  movements NCMH was organized in 1909 NCMH considered mental illness the most serious social evil of all time: individual  suffering, economic burden, exacerbating many of the nation’s social problems Early NCMH had little effect: hard to get funding, pessimistic public
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Started having greater effect in 1920s: moved to address all forms of maladjustment;  moved beyond asylums to prisons, industry, etc. 3 major contributory strands of thought: 1. Meyer’s “psychobiology” or dynamic psychiatry of “the whole person” 2. Behavioristic psychiatry of John B. Watson 3. Psychoanalytic concepts extrapolated from Freud (as well as Jung and Adler) Hygienists placed all emphasis on personality disorder, not biology Other key hygienist assumptions: Emotions were “essential core” of personality and the “most determining aspect of  mental life in general” Childhood was “the conditioning period of personality” Mental illness developed over time, did not strike suddenly Possible to spot premonitions of psychiatric disorder
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2012 for the course CULTURE AN 87 taught by Professor Harrington during the Spring '10 term at Harvard.

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HA87StudyGuide - UNIT THREE: 20 -CENTURY THEORY AND...

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