Institutional Persons and Personal Institutions

A. Jamie Saris

in Postcolonial Disorders

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520252233
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941021 | DOI:
Institutional Persons and Personal Institutions

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This chapter presents a detailed ethnography of a classic postcolonial institution, a state mental hospital built as a colonial asylum by the British in rural Ireland. It describes the daily life of a former mental patient of the hospital who has become the town character, and discusses the subjectivity of another man whose speech is apparently crazy but who is still quite effective in making assertions about local politics and community relations. The chapter argues that the colonial encounters and the resistances they provoke need to be analyzed beyond moments of violence and in high literature.

Keywords: mental hospital; ethnography; Ireland; subjectivity; colonial encounters; colonial asylum

Chapter.  8982 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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