Publication Details

Harwood, V. (2010). Mobile asylums: Psychopathologisation as a personal, portable psychiatric prison. Special Issue, Discourse, Studies in the Cultural Politics of Schooling, 31(4), 437-451.


Psychopathologisation, broadly understood as processes that lead to the effects of being psychopatholigised, can have considerable consequences for isolating students from education. This can be especially the case for children and young people affected by the racialization of behaviour and/or socio-economic disadvantage. Drawing on Foucault’s analysis of the relationship between the psychiatrist and the asylum in his lectures ‘Psychiatric Power’, the argument is made that these effects can be tantamount to being institutionalised in a mobile asylum. Portrayal of the asylum in the American television series House MD is used to highlight how, if we rely on classic depictions of the asylum-psychiatrist couplet, we risk missing - or minimizing, the mobile asylum that some young children experience when they are psychopathologised in schooling.



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