Gender, madness and society in 20th century Britain

Dr Alison Haggett and Dr Mark Harrison

60 minutes


November 2018

Learning module

CPD domain:

Gender madness and society in the 20th century.jpg

This module highlights the factors that influenced ideas about mental illness through the 20th century, examining the ways in which ideas about ‘normal’ behaviour were heavily contingent upon broader social fears and the cultural context of the time.

Despite significant advances arising from the biopsychosocial understanding of mental disorders, social and cultural factors still play an important part in interpreting and treating modern day mental illness.

By the end of the module you should have a deeper understanding of:

  • the ways in which assumptions about gender, race and class have previously impacted on ideas about mental illness,
  • the history of hysteria and ‘shell shock’,
  • the statistical representation of mental disorders,
  • the value of seeing mental illness in its historical context.


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