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Mental Health in Historical Perspective

Insanity and Immigration Control in New Zealand and Australia, 1860–1930

Authors: Kain, Jennifer

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  • Offers a new perspective on the study of migration and mental illness, focusing on policy makers, customs officers and shipping companies
  • Draws on a broad range of bureaucratic archival sources from New Zealand and Australia to provide a policy versus practice analysis of  border restrictions
  • Accounts for the development of the medico-legal system designed to deal with the 'transient insane'
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-26330-0
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About this book

This book examines the policy and practice of the insanity clauses within the immigration controls of New Zealand and the Commonwealth of Australia. It reveals those charged with operating the legislation to be non-psychiatric gatekeepers who struggled to match its intent. Regardless of the evolution in language and the location at which a migrant’s mental suitability was assessed, those with ‘inherent mental defects’ and ‘transient insanity’ gained access to these regions. This book accounts for the increased attempts to medicalise border control in response to the widening scope of terminology used for mental illnesses, disabilities and dysfunctions. Such attempts co-existed with the promotion of these regions as ‘invalids’ paradises’ by governments, shipping companies, and non-asylum doctors. Using a bureaucratic lens, this book exposes these paradoxes, and the failings within these nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Australasian nation-state building exercises.


About the authors

Jennifer S. Kain teaches History at the University of Newcastle, UK, and is a Research Associate at the Institute of Historical Research, London where she held a 2016-2017 Junior Research Fellowship. She has published in Studies in the Literary Imagination, the International Journal of Maritime History, the Social History of Medicine, and in 2018 received a New Zealand History Research Trust award.

Reviews

“Strength of Kain’s book is its ability to bring out paradoxes and contradictions in colonial immigration policy and practice. … this is a good and accessible history of Australasian colonial border control generally, as well as a major contribution to our understanding of the history of psychiatry and mental health in the Anglosphere.” (Philippa Martyr, Reviews in History, February 21, 2020)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook £47.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26330-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £59.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26329-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Insanity and Immigration Control in New Zealand and Australia, 1860–1930
Authors
Series Title
Mental Health in Historical Perspective
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-26330-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-26330-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-26329-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 244
Topics

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