chapter  7
‘Being taken in hand’: giving themselves over to the institution
Pages 29

Given that my interviews were mainly conducted in a hospital setting, the final phase of my analysis of the anorexic career concerns the moment when the interviewees were taken on board by the institution. This situation defines, and perhaps even determines, the point of view underpinning the entire narratives provided by these patients hospitalized for anorexia.1 In this chapter, hospitalization will be broached as a single phase and the ‘end’ of the career, although it is important to note that hospital stays can be part of diverse and discontinuous medical trajectories and can vary depending on the therapeutic orientation of the wards. Special focus will be given to the points of resemblance and common processes that can be identified across the different hospitalizations my interviewees experienced and recounted. These will be approached from the point of view of ‘successful hospitalization’ – the medical category that institutional treatment aims to have the patients take on board.2 I will not analyse hospitalization in and of itself, but rather as the final phase in the career and in terms of its relationship with the previous stages.