Cris Sarg is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow. Her supervisors are Dr Cheryl McGeachan and Prof Chris Philo. Cris can be contacted at: email@example.com
Little is known about the history and geography of Jews and ‘madness’ (mental ill-health) in general or specifically within the Scottish context. My research focuses on the Jewish patients admitted to the royal asylums serving Edinburgh and Glasgow c.1870-1939, asking about differences in how Jewish patients were admitted, diagnosed and treated compared to other patients. It is recognised that differences must be acknowledged in institutional practices, as well as fractures within the Scottish Jewish community along lines of social class, levels of ‘orthodoxy’ and extent of ‘integration’ into wider Scottish society. Nonetheless, through systematic comparisons between all identifiable Jewish admissions and a ‘control sample’ of non-Jewish admissions, quantitative and qualitative inquiry seeks to answer: What gender, age, marital and other socio-demographic differences can be detected between the two groups? What differences can be detected in the extent, character and content of case note descriptions between the two groups? Did a patient’s Jewishness have a distinctive effect upon their admission, diagnosis, treatment and discharge, perhaps manifesting certain preconceptions about the proneness of Jews to ‘madness’? What broader questions might therefore be raised by further research on Scottish-Jewish ‘madness’?
General Research Interests: Anglo-Jewry; Asylums; Madness; Medical Economies.