Psychotherapeutic encounters : masculine ideals of gender and the construction of hysteria in nineteenth and early twentieth-century America / by Brent W. Misso Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7p88cj70f

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  • Early nineteenth-century America witnessed social change which significantly altered the structure of human relationships. Out of this transformation came new configurations of gender and sexuality which colored relations between the sexes well into the twentieth century. But these gender prescriptions did not merely serve to pattern male/female interactions, they informed the Victorian America male self-concept as well. As this study will demonstrate, men born and raised in the middle of the nineteenth century were bombarded with a masculine ethos which would permeate their personal and professional lives. This study focuses particularly upon men who entered the medical profession. More specifically, this is an investigation of those practitioners who took up psychotherapy in the course of conducting their medical practice. Overall, the thesis will show that gender roles did indeed influence medical professionals in the investigation and treatment of hysteria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The first chapter is an overview of the issues to be addressed in the thesis. The formal study begins in the second chapter with an examination of the construction of gender roles in nineteenth-century America. The third chapter summarizes the development of the professions and the subsequent ascent of medicine. The process of professionalization created a reciprocal relationship between medical science and the broader culture by which the medical practitioners of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century achieved an unprecedented status. As the mediators between medical knowledge and society, practitioners based their scientific opinions directly upon their congenial view of the world. The fourth chapter explores the therapeutic encounter centered upon hysteria. The hysteria malady, closely linked with femininity over the sweep of its long history, provided physicians with a diagnosis that allowed them to discourse on social concerns about gender difference in general, and about the troublesome nature of women in particular. Finally, the fifth chapter traces the introduction of psychoanalysis into the American psychotherapeutic scene. As a form of psychotherapy taken up by a small group of practitioners interested in psychological theories of illness and healing, psychoanalysis was gradually adopted and then modified to suit the needs of American professionals who continued to be guided by ideas of masculinity forged in Victorian America.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-11-08T19:00:11Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 MissoBrentW1996.pdf: 5000263 bytes, checksum: 03f46b462fc94a104577e0f346cda98e (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-11-08T19:00:11Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 MissoBrentW1996.pdf: 5000263 bytes, checksum: 03f46b462fc94a104577e0f346cda98e (MD5) Previous issue date: 1996-05-10
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-11-07T22:40:49Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 MissoBrentW1996.pdf: 5000263 bytes, checksum: 03f46b462fc94a104577e0f346cda98e (MD5)
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