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The death of the asylum? Deinstitutionalization: Policy and practice

Alavi, Christine (1993) The death of the asylum? Deinstitutionalization: Policy and practice. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The thesis begins by examining the narratives by which the psychiatric institution was sustained and legitimated from the eighteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century.

It outlines and analyses the discourses which have determined how deinstitutionalization of the long-term mentally ill has been implemented. It investigates deinstitutionalization as a response to the critiques of the asylum in the 1960's and 70's, and evaluates its effects on the lives of the long-term mentally disturbed. It argues that policies based on community care, which were ostensibly aimed at ameliorating the worst aspects of institutionalization, have reproduced those negative aspects in the streets and emergency shelters of the inner cities of North America, Australia and Britain.

The Australian experience of developing policies of institutionalization and deinstitutionalization is discussed, looking at recent documents at both state and national levels.

Alternative approaches to the dissolution or decentralization of the psychiatric institution are examined, with particular reference to Italy and to innovative projects in both North America and Australia.

The thesis concludes by addressing the basic issues in the development and implementation of policies for the care of the long-term mentally disturbed in Australia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Humanities
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): UNSPECIFIED
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