By D. Armstrong
Clinical texts offer a robust technique of getting access to modern perceptions of disease and during them assumptions concerning the nature of the physique and id. by means of mapping those perceptions, from their nineteenth-century concentrate on disorder situated in a organic physique via to their 'discovery' of the psycho-social sufferer of the overdue 20th century, a historical past of identification, either actual and mental, is printed.
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Additional info for A New History of Identity: A Sociology of Medical Knowledge
It needed to be directed and managed, subsumed even, under some explicit inner and/or outer controls. Movement required order and guidance. Certainly, children were born with muscles but these needed bringing under the body’s wilful control: In all exercises muscles are being controlled by the will. The oftener the centres are called upon to exercise their controlling inﬂuence the better they can do it and the more perfect becomes the control. (Porter 1906: 40) 42 A New History of Identity With a prepared posture together with attention to efﬁcient breathing (with shoulders squared and mouth closed), the child was placed in a state of readiness for movement.
Most of these deaths were said to be from atrophy, debility, malformation and sudden causes. Of these various imprecise causes of infant death, only congenital malformation seemed to be exclusive to children. Atrophy, debility and sudden death were equally found as causes of death – together with ‘old age’ – amongst the elderly. The Registrar-General recognized this correspondence between infancy and old age in 1855 when he removed these deaths from ‘uncertain seat’ and created a new sub-classiﬁcation of ‘diseases of growth, nutrition and decay’.
Moreover, both forward and backward slouching constricted the chest and impeded breathing. Folded arms also affected movement of the chest as well 40 A New History of Identity as encouraging stooping, but arms held behind the back could be equally harmful in producing unnatural stretching of muscles of the shoulder, chest and back. The best place for the arms, it was advised, was down the side of the body resting on the hips. In effect, an essential precursor to movement was body deportment, each position deconstructed, critically analyzed, and an ideal declared.