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Ombres et lumières : la psychiatrie aux Amériques au XIX e siècle Volume 83, issue 7, Septembre 2007

Author
Praticien hospitalier, CHG Robert-Ballanger, 93602, Aulnay-sous-Bois

Shadows and light: psychiatry in the Americas of the 19th century.A comparison between the United States and Argentina at the moment when modern psychiatry was born in the 19th century betrays the moving limits of its object. Torn between a utopic ideal of emancipation and an economic pragmatism, the practice of placing patients in asylums was confronted with political ideals, immigration flows and economic cycles. Antagonisms at work within countries of such differing traditions and development were linked to concepts of madness and the turmoils of their societies were translated into psychiatric practice. The history of the development of psychiatry in these countries throws a new light on the history of 19th century psychiatry itself.