A boundary between two worlds? Community perceptions of former asylums in Lancashire, England.

GIBBESON, Carolyn and BEATTIE, Katie (2021). A boundary between two worlds? Community perceptions of former asylums in Lancashire, England. In: Voices in the History of Madness: Personal and Professional Perspectives on Mental Health and Illness. Mental Health in Historical Perspective . Palgrave Macmillan, 263-284.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-69559-0


Mental asylums are often depicted as dark, feared places. Since their mass closure in the 1990s, early 2000s, these imposing, now abandoned and decaying sites have commonly been presented as places of fear, torment and scandal. Yet slowly the negative perceptions surrounding them have receded. The former asylum can be seen as resolutely dark and yet becoming lighter at the same time. This chapter will explore the question of whether there is a boundary that exists between community and asylum as Gittins (1998) argued or whether the relationship, as more recent studies have explored, is more flexible and fluid (Bartlett & Wright, 1999; Mooney & Reinarz, 2009; Smith, 2006). It deepens this emerging re-interpretation by examining how those living and working around former asylum sites in two local communities in the North West of England (the former Lancaster Moor and Whittingham Hospitals) view their abandoned asylum as those sites progressed through conversion to residential accommodation. The study reveals the diverse meanings and interpretations of these sites, challenging the conventional interpretation of an, for all times and all purposes, stigmatisation.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Series ISSN: 2634-6036
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-69559-0
Page Range: 263-284
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2020 10:37
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 01:18
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/25893

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