Abstract

summary:

This article chronicles contestations between religious actors, represented by the Brazilian Santa Casa de Misericórdia Catholic lay brotherhood and the French nun order, the Daughters of Charity, on one hand, and emergent psychiatrists, on the other, over the governance of the Hospício Pedro II, Brazil’s first public asylum. It investigates how psychiatrists, as apostles of professional rationality, developed their ideas about reason and bureaucratic power in a contested site of religious charity during Brazil’s Second Empire (1852–90). Apart from sharing ideological ground about the need to seclude the insane in the asylum, I argue that these groups brought divergent and entangled epistemologies about the constructions of madness, its treatment, and its bureaucratic governance.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3176
Print ISSN
0007-5140
Pages
pp. 733-760
Launched on MUSE
2015-12-28
Open Access
No
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