This book examines the relationship between social class and mental illness in Northern Europe during the 20th century. Contributors explore the socioeconomic status of mental patients, the possible influence of social class on the diagnoses and treatment they received in psychiatric institutions, and how social class affected the ways in which the problems of minorities, children and various ‘deviants’ and ‘misfits’ were evaluated and managed by mental health professionals. The basic message of the book is that, even in developing welfare states founded on social equality, social class has been a significant factor that has affected mental health in many different ways – and still does.

chapter |15 pages


part I|96 pages

Social class and mental health care

chapter 1|19 pages

Pity the poor patient

The indigent mentally ill in late 19th- and early 20th-century Finland

chapter 5|21 pages

Children on the move

Psychiatric encounters with child evacuees returning to post-war Finland

part II|102 pages

Psychiatry, crime, and deviance

chapter 7|20 pages

Psychopaths, querulants, and class

On controversial diagnoses, money, norms, and networks in Sweden in the 1930s and 1940s

chapter 8|22 pages

Unsound of mind

Crime, madness, and forensic psychiatry in Denmark and Finland in the first decades of the 20th century

chapter 9|19 pages

The ideal of the respectable woman

Social class and femininity in forensic assessments of female patients at Østmarka Asylum, 1938–1969

chapter 10|20 pages

Liberating the deviants

How to change the politics of social control – a case study from Finland, 1967–1971