Forthcoming in JHBS: Public Opinion Research in West Germany, Psychoanalytic Influences in Argentinian Psychology

Two articles forthcoming in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences will interest AHP readers. Full details below.

Intersecting aims, divergent paths: The Allensbach Institute, the Institute for Social Research, and the making of public opinion research in 1950s West Germany,” Sonja G. Ostrow. Abstract:

After 1945, both the Western Allies in Germany and some German social scientists embraced empirical public opinion research. This article examines the rhetoric, practices, and collaborative professional efforts of two of the most significant institutions conducting opinion research in West Germany in the 1950s: the Allensbach Institute and the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. Although the political stances of these institutions differed, they were motivated to apply empirical research methods associated with Anglo?American social research to the West German population by shared concerns about the fragility of democracy, faith in the empirical sciences as an antidote to Nazi?era thought patterns, and the need to form a united front against doubters within West Germany. Even while declaring their desire to incorporate the latest empirical advances from the United States, however, they sought to articulate the meaning of their methods and findings in terms of the specific challenges faced by West Germany.

Psychology qua psychoanalysis in Argentina: Some historical origins of a philosophical problem (1942–1964),” Catriel Fierro and Saulo de Freitas Araujo. Abstract:

Contemporary Argentinian psychology has a unique characteristic: it is identified with psychoanalysis. Nonpsychoanalytic theories and therapies are difficult to find. In addition, there is an overt antiscientific attitude within many psychology programs. How should this be explained? In this paper, we claim that a philosophical history of psychology can shed new light on the development of Argentinian psychology by showing that early Argentinian psychoanalysts held positions in the newborn psychology programs and a distinctive stance toward scientific research in general and psychology in particular. In the absence of an explicit and articulate philosophical position, psychoanalysts developed an implicit meta?theory that helped shape the context that led to the institutionalization and professionalization of psychology in Argentina. Although we do not establish or even suggest a monocausal link between their ideas and the current state of Argentinian psychology, we do claim that their impact should be explored. Finally, we discuss some limitations of our study and suggest future complementary investigations.

The Mechanics of Passions: Brain, Behaviour, and Society

AHP readers may be interested in a newly translated book, The Mechanics of Passions: Brain, Behaviour, and Society by Alain Ehrenberg (translated by Craig Lund). The book is described as follows:

Cognitive neuroscience, once a specialized area of psychology and biology, has enjoyed increased worldwide legitimacy in the last thirty years not only in psychiatry and mental health, but also in fields as diverse as education, economics, marketing, and law. How can this surge in popularity be explained? Has the new science of human behaviour now become the barometer of our conduct and our lives, taking the place previously occupied by psychoanalysis?

Rather than asking if neuronal man will replace social man or how to surmount the opposition between the biological and the social, The Mechanics of Passions uncovers hidden relationships between global social ideals and specialized concepts of neuroscience and cognitive science. Proposing a historical sociology situated in the dual contexts of the history of sciences and the history of self-representation, Alain Ehrenberg describes the conditions through which cognitive neuroscience has developed and acquired a strong moral authority in our individualistic society permeated by ideas, values, and norms of autonomy.

Cognitive neuroscience offers the promise of turning personal limitations into assets by exploring an individual’s “hidden potential.” The Mechanics of Passions identifies this as the echo of social ideals of autonomy, affirming that the moral authority of cognitive neuroscience stems as much from cultural norms as from any results of scientific or medical experimentation.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The New Science of Human Behaviour | 3

1 Exemplary Brains: From the Misfortunes of the Practical Subject to the Heroism of Hidden Potential | 14
2 Scientific Method and Individualist Ideals: Converting Passions, from the Scottish Enlightenment to New Individualism | 50
3 The Brain-as-Individual, a Physiology of Autonomy | 93
4 Social Neuroscience, or How the Individual Acts with Others | 129
5 Exercises in Autonomy: Individualist Rituals to Reconstruct One’s Moral Being? | 161
6 Is It My Ideas or My Brain That Is Making Me Sick? Neuroscience and Self-Knowledge | 198

Conclusion: The Brain’s Place
From the Neuronal Being to the Total Being | 232

Forthcoming in HHS: Mothering on film, Brain-Based Parenting, Social Research in Portugal

Several pieces forthcoming in History of the Human Sciences will be of interest to AHP readers. Full details below.

Mothering in the frame: Cinematic microanalysis and the pathogenic mother, 1945–67,” Katie Joice. Abstract:

This article examines the use of cinematic microanalysis to capture, decompose, and interpret mother–infant interaction in the decades following the Second World War. Focusing on the films and writings of Margaret Mead, Ray Birdwhistell, René Spitz, and Sylvia Brody, it examines the intellectual culture, and visual methodologies, that transformed ‘pathogenic’ mothering into an observable process. In turn, it argues that the significance assigned to the ‘small behaviours’ of mothers provided an epistemological foundation for the nascent discipline of infant psychiatry. This research draws attention to two new areas of enquiry within the history of emotions and the history of psychiatry in the post-war period: preoccupation with emotional absence and affectlessness, and their personal and cultural meanings; and the empirical search for the origin point, and early chronology, of mental illness.

Neurobiological limits and the somatic significance of love: Caregivers’ engagements with neuroscience in Scottish parenting programmes,” Tineke Broer, Martyn Pickersgill, Sarah Cunningham-Burley. Abstract:

While parents have long received guidance on how to raise children, a relatively new element of this involves explicit references to infant brain development, drawing on brain scans and neuroscientific knowledge. Sometimes called ‘brain-based parenting’, this has been criticised from within sociological and policy circles alike. However, the engagement of parents themselves with neuroscientific concepts is far less researched. Drawing on 22 interviews with parents/carers of children (mostly aged 0–7) living in Scotland, this article examines how they account for their (non-)use of concepts and understandings relating to neuroscience. Three normative tropes were salient: information about children’s processing speed, evidence about deprived Romanian orphans in the 1990s, and ideas relating to whether or not children should ‘self-settle’ when falling asleep. We interrogate how parents reflexively weigh and judge such understandings and ideas. In some cases, neuroscientific knowledge was enrolled by parents in ways that supported biologically reductionist models of childhood agency. This reductionism commonly had generative effects, enjoining new care practices and producing particular parent and infant subjectivities. Notably, parents do not uncritically adopt or accept (sometimes reductionist) neurobiological and/or psychological knowledge; rather, they reflect on whether and when it is applicable to and relevant for raising their children. Thus, our respondents draw on everyday epistemologies of parenting to negotiate brain-based understandings of infant development and behaviour, and invest meaning in these in ways that cannot be fully anticipated (or appreciated) within straightforward celebrations or critiques of the content of parenting programmes drawing on neuropsychological ideas.

Continuity through change: State social research and sociology in Portugal,” Frederico Ágoas. Abstract:

This article examines the development of empirical social research in Portugal over about a century and its relation to the early institutionalization of sociology at the tail end of that period. Relying on new empirical data, coupled with a critical reading of the main sources on the topic, it brings to light some epistemic invariants in a disparate body of research, acknowledging the initial persistence of Le Play-inspired as well as properly Le Playsian research methods. Furthermore, it identifies the general continuation of a substantial concern with the (physical and then moral) condition of rural and industrial workers, leading to a disclosure of the political-economic and governmental roots of the social research in question. From a historical sociology perspective, the article explores the relation between state governmentalization and authoritarian rule, on the one hand, and the development of the social sciences, on the other. From a history of science perspective, it acknowledges the continuous use of the same research methods to carry out seemingly incommensurable social research programmes and the later pursuit of a properly sociological research programme that fell back on conflicting methodological and theoretical approaches. In broader terms, the article aims to put forward a historical sociology of theoretical approaches, research methods, and scientific concepts that will hopefully contribute to a clearer understanding of their respective fields of application.

Forthcoming in HoP: Little Albert (Again), Psychiatry and the Totalitarian State, Intellectual Community

Several pieces forthcoming in History of Psychology will be of interest to AHP readers. Full details below.

“Did Little Albert actually acquire a conditioned fear of furry animals? What the film evidence tells us.” Powell, Russell A.; Schmaltz, Rodney M. Abstract:

Watson and Rayner’s (1920) attempt to condition a fear of furry animals and objects in an 11-month-old infant is one of the most widely cited studies in psychology. Known as the Little Albert study, it is typically presented as evidence for the role of classical conditioning in fear development. Some critics, however, have noted deficiencies in the study that suggest that little or no fear conditioning actually occurred. These criticisms were primarily based on the published reports of the study. In this article, we present a detailed analysis of Watson’s (1923) film record of the study to determine the extent to which it provides evidence of conditioning. Our findings concur with the view that Watson and Rayner’s conditioning procedure was largely ineffective, and that the relatively weak signs of distress that Albert does display in the film can be readily accounted for by such factors as sensitization and maturational influences. We suggest that the tendency for viewers to perceive the film as a valid demonstration of fear conditioning is likely the result of expectancy effects as well as, in some cases, an ongoing mistrust of behaviorism as dehumanizing and manipulative. Our analysis also revealed certain anomalies in the film which indicate that Watson engaged in some “literary license” when editing it, most likely with a view toward using the film mainly as a promotional device to attract financial support for his research program.

“Psychiatrists’ agency and their distance from the authoritarian state in post-World War II Taiwan.” Wu, Harry Yi-Jui. Abstract:

By the end of World War II and in the shadow of the Cold War, many Asia–Pacific nations developed their psychiatric disciplines and strengthened their mental health care provision. This article examines the activities of the first generation of psychiatrists in Taiwan during the postwar period, focusing on their self-fashioning during the transition of a medical discipline. At this time, psychiatry was imagined by the state and by professionals as a science serving different clinical and political objectives. Psychiatrists, however, enjoyed a relatively unrestricted environment that allowed them to gradually form a professional identity. At the height of the Cold War, the state attempted to use psychiatry for political ends. Because of its initially malleable nature and undeveloped content, psychiatry could be employed by various authorities for diverse purposes, including patient care, scientific inquiry, psychological warfare, and even political probes to obtain crucial information. Nevertheless, psychiatrists sought to create spaces where they could develop their professional autonomy and prevent exploitation amid complicated political polemics.

“Family, friends, and faith-communities: Intellectual community and the benefits of unofficial networks for marginalized scientists.” Rodkey, Krista L.; Rodkey, Elissa N. Abstract”

Throughout the 20th century, female scientists faced barriers to participation in scientific communities. Within psychology, the 1st generation of women fought for inclusion in the university and access to laboratories; the 2nd generation officially gained access to such resources while still in practice being excluded from many areas of psychology and being denied suitable professional opportunities (Johnston & Johnson, 2008; Scarborough & Furumoto, 1987). Scholarship on these challenges tends to focus on power dynamics or on the strategies used by women to overcome obstacles to their full acceptance in the scientific world. In other words, there has been a focus on women’s participation in official intellectual communities. Less attention has been paid to the motivational consequences of belonging to unofficial or informal intellectual communities. In this article, we argue that exploring the nature of unofficial communities illuminates a pattern of strategies that accounts for women’s success in official communities; challenges a masculine, laboratory-centric model of science; and offers a model of intellectual work that has applications for other disenfranchised groups both in the history of science and in the modern world. We focus on 3 psychologists, Milicent Shinn, Eleanor Gibson, and Magda Arnold, whose success was underpinned by the support of unofficial networks. By so doing, we show how unofficial communities address specific needs for the marginalized. Finally, we explore applications to address the problems of the neoliberal university.

“Seeing inside the child: The Rorschach inkblot test as assessment technique in a girls’ reform school, 1938–1948.” Bultman, Saskia. Abstract:

This article examines the practice of Rorschach testing as it was applied in a Dutch reform school for girls in the mid-20th century. Considering the assessment technique of Rorschach testing as an “examination” in the Foucauldian sense, this article investigates what type of identity was brought into being for the girls who were tested. Inspired by the praxiographic approach to trace the practices involved in testing, it shows that the Rorschach enacted a wholly new conception of the delinquent girl. Through the test, the reform school pupils were conceptualized as individuals with a literal inner realm, populated with drives, complexes and neuroses, which were said to shape their misbehavior. This notion of interiority was, strikingly enough, a rhetorical construction on the part of the psychologist, but was also produced as a reality in the practices surrounding the test. The article argues that, in the reform school, Rorschach testing not only served to assess the pupils’ reeducability—a lesser known application of the Rorschach, particular to this reformatory context—but also served to govern them, precisely through its enactment of interiority. Through the practices of the test, a situation was created that suggested that the psychologist knew something about the girl that she herself did not; it was the creation of this “secret”–which forced pupils to look inside themselves—that placed the psychologist in a position of power. Utilizing the underused source of test reports, the article explores an application of Rorschach testing that has received little attention, further highlighting the test’s versatility and power.

HoP: Prehistoric Psychology, Critical Thinking, Behaviorism

AHP readers will be interested in the most recent issue of History of Psychology. Full details below.

Special Spotlight Section: Prehistoric Psychology
“On prehistoric psychology: Reflections at the invitation of Göbekli Tepe.” Henley, Tracy B. Abstract:

The Neolithic Revolution has been heralded as the most significant sociocognitive change in human history, yet it is all but ignored by psychology. This gives rise to a reconsideration of the question “Where should the history of psychology begin?” Using the Neolithic archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe as a concrete case study, the advent of writing, organized religion, and our transition from being egalitarian bands of hunter-gatherers to socially stratified and specialized builders of “civilization” all stand as salient, but prehistoric, psychological topics. Such matters seem clearly crucial to understanding the full story of psychology, but nevertheless this vital segment of prehistory manages to be passed over by even evolutionary psychologists as well as historians of our discipline. How this problem is best addressed remains an open question.

““That’s a great deal to make one word mean”: Reflections on prehistoric psychology.” Graiver, Inbar. Abstract:

Comments on the article by T. B. Henley (see record 2020-68859-001). Scholarly attempts to broaden the scope of the historical investigation of psychology are welcome. To the extent that Henley’s article seeks to do just that, it provides an important corrective to the traditional approach. The question remains, however, whether the prehistoric developments presented in the article can indeed teach us something about the history of psychology (broadly defined), and more fundamentally, whether they can at all be described as “psychological” in any meaningful way.

“Making a case for Göbekli Tepe in evolutionary psychology: Comment on Henley (2020).” Blackwell, Raini A.; Rossano, Matt J. Abstract:

Göbekli Tepe holds great significance for psychology. However, we think its place in the history of psychology is still very unclear. More clarity may come by giving evolutionary psychology priority over Göbekli Tepe for the time being.

“Psychology in history: Comment on Henley (2020).” Smail, Daniel Lord. Abstract:

This comment engages with Henley’s (2020) proposal for a history of psychology that addresses important transformations in mind and behavior across all periods of humanity’s deep history. To the extent that the history of psychology pays attention to the human past, Henley observes, that history is dominated by evolutionary perspectives focused on the biological changes that took place in the Pleistocene. Using the recent archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe as a case study, his article draws attention to important psychological changes that have taken place in the more recent past and have unfolded over shorter time scales. This comment seeks to amplify some of Henley’s claims and, by advocating for a historical metanarrative described here as “psychology in history,” proposes an alternative framework for achieving some of the goals that Henley has articulated.

“The “space” of history: A response to Graiver (2020), Rossano (2020), and Smail (2020).” Henley, Tracy B. Abstract:

Replies to comments by I. Gravier (see record 2020-68859-002), R. A. Blackwell and M. J. Rossano (see record 2020-68859-003), and D. L. Smail (see record 2020-68859-004) on the article by Henley (see record 2020-68859-001). That each of the commentators acknowledged the significance of the Neolithic for psychology was welcome, as were their alternative views on how such prehistoric events potentially fit with our discipline’s history. As new scholarship continues to emerge related to Göbekli Tepe demonstrating radical changes in how Neolithic humans understood themselves, each other, and the world around them, Henley contends that this is significant for our chronicle of the nature of not just “psychology in history” but also deserves “space” within the history of psychology. To reiterate the last line from Smail’s reply—“Now all we have to do is persuade the historians”.

Regular Articles
“The construction of “critical thinking”: Between how we think and what we believe.” Lamont, Peter. Abstract:

“Critical thinking” is widely regarded as important, but difficult to define. This article provides an historical perspective by describing how “critical thinking” emerged as an object of psychological study, how the forms it took were shaped by practical and social concerns, and how these related to “critical thinking” as something that results in certain conclusions, rather than as a process of coming to conclusions. “Critical thinking” became a scientific object when psychologists attempted to measure it. The original measurement treated “critical thinking” as both an ability and an attitude. It measured logical abilities, and consistency and extremity of views, but it avoided making assumptions about the correctness of specific real-world beliefs. The correctness of such beliefs was, as problems with other related tests showed, open to dispute. Subsequent tests increasingly focused on logical abilities, and attempted to minimize further the relevance of what people believed about the real world, though they continued to depend on there being correct answers to test items, which privileged the outcome over the process. While “critical thinking” was primarily the domain of philosophers, there was renewed psychological interest in the topic in the 1980s, which increasingly presented “critical thinking” as incompatible with certain real-world (“unscientific”) beliefs. Such a view more explicitly privileged the outcome over the process. It is argued that a more reflective approach, though it may be more difficult to measure, is essential if we wish to understand not only what critical thinking has been, but also what it is now.

“The rise and fall of behaviorism: The narrative and the numbers.” Braat, Michiel; Engelen, Jan; van Gemert, Ties; Verhaegh, Sander. Abstract:

The history of 20th-century American psychology is often depicted as a history of the rise and fall of behaviorism. Although historians disagree about the theoretical and social factors that have contributed to the development of experimental psychology, there is widespread consensus about the growing and (later) declining influence of behaviorism between approximately 1920 and 1970. Because such wide-scope claims about the development of American psychology are typically based on small and unrepresentative samples of historical data, however, the question arises to what extent the received view is justified. This article aims to answer this question in two ways. First, we use advanced scientometric tools (e.g., bibliometric mapping, cocitation analysis, and term co-occurrence analysis) to quantitatively analyze the metadata of 119,278 articles published in American journals between 1920 and 1970. We reconstruct the development and structure of American psychology using cocitation and co-occurrence networks and argue that the standard story needs reappraising. Second, we argue that the question whether behaviorism was the “dominant” school of American psychology is historically misleading to begin with. Using the results of our bibliometric analyses, we argue that questions about the development of American psychology deserve more fine-grained answers.

Material Cultures of Psychiatry

A new open access book, Material Cultures of Psychiatry, edited by Monika Ankele and Benoît Majerus, may interest AHP readers. The book is described as follows:

In the past, our ideas on psychiatric hospitals and their history have been shaped by objects like straitjackets, cribs and binding belts. These powerful objects are often used as a synonym for psychiatry and the way psychiatric patients are treated, but very little is known about the agency of these objects and their appropriation by staff and patients. By focusing on material cultures, this book offers a new gaze on the history of psychiatry: it allows a narrative which shows “doing psychiatry” to be a complex entanglement where power is permanently negotiated. Scholars from different social sciences show how this material gaze ensures a critical approach while opening up the field to alternative questions.

Making Spirit Matter: Neurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France

AHP readers may be interested in a new book, Making Spirit Matter: Neurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France by Larry Sommer McGrath. The book is described as follows,

The connection between mind and brain has been one of the most persistent problems in modern Western thought; even recent advances in neuroscience haven’t been able to explain it satisfactorily. Historian Larry Sommer McGrath’s Making Spirit Matter studies how a particularly productive and influential group of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French thinkers attempted to solve this puzzle by showing the mutual dependence of spirit and matter. The scientific revolution taking place at this point in history across disciplines, from biology to psychology and neurology, located our mental powers in the brain and offered a radical reformulation of the meaning of society, spirit, and the self. Tracing connections among thinkers such as Henri Bergson, Alfred Fouillée, Jean-Marie Guyau, and others, McGrath plots alternative intellectual movements that revived themes of creativity, time, and experience by applying the very sciences that seemed to undermine metaphysics and religion. Making Spirit Matter lays out the long legacy of this moment in the history of ideas and how it might renew our understanding of the relationship between mind and brain today.


Chapter 1 The Formations of French Spiritualism
Chapter 2 Measuring the Machinery of the Brain
Chapter 3 Science and Spirit in the Classroom
Chapter 4 Locating Selfhood in the Brain
Chapter 5 The Institutions of the Intellect, or Spirit contra Kant
Chapter 6 Struggles for Spirit’s Catholic Soul

The mentally ill and how they were perceived in young Israel

AHP readers may be interested in a forthcoming piece in History of Psychiatry, “The mentally ill and how they were perceived in young Israel,” by Oded Heilbronner. Abstract:

The article constitutes a widely researched account of mental patients and their perceptions in the early history of Israel, especially its second decade. It focuses on a single generation, which experienced the traumas of war in Europe, followed by insecurity in Israel’s struggle for independence. The article claims that in the 1960s many suffered from depression, reflected in a record number of patients in mental hospitals and mentally sick people, mostly of European origin. This study describes Israeli society in the 1960s as disturbed, immersed in nightmarish dreams and close to madness; it also discusses the genetic and neurological vulnerabilities which induced the psychosis and the social response that converted it into a chronic illness.

Why psychiatry might cooperate with religion: The Michigan Society of Pastoral Care, 1945–1968

AHP readers may be interested in a forthcoming piece, now available online, in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences.

Why psychiatry might cooperate with religion: The Michigan Society of Pastoral Care, 1945–1968,” Laura Hirshbein. Abstract:

The early decades of the pastoral care movement were characterized by a remarkable collaboration with psychiatry. While historians of the religious aspects of this movement have noted the reliance of pastoral care on psychiatry and psychology, it has been less clear how and why mental health professionals elected to work with clergy. This paper uses the Michigan Society of Pastoral Care (MSPC), one of the early training programs for hospital chaplains on the model of the Boston?based Institute for Pastoral Care, as a window to explore the interactions between psychiatry and religion at mid century. Raymond Waggoner, the nationally recognized and well?connected chair of the psychiatry department at the University of Michigan, was instrumental in expanding the influential pastoral care program at his hospital and in his state as part of his bigger mission of emphasizing the fundamental role of psychiatry in American life. Waggoner played a key role within the MSPC, in conjunction with leaders within the medical departments of the major hospitals in the state. All of the members of the MSPC viewed psychiatry’s insights as essential for pastoral care, with the caveat that chaplains should remain pupils, not practitioners of psychotherapy.

CBHM/BCHM: Eugenic Discourses in French Canada, Diagnostic Politics of Autism in Patient and Parent Associations, and More

The fall issue of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la médicine includes several articles that may interest AHP readers. Full details below.

Noddle Pox: Syphilis and the Conception of Nosomania/Nosophobia (c. 1665–c. 1965),” Diederik F. Janssen. Abstract:

Hypochondriac or phobic reactions to venereal disease, specifically syphilis, have invited over three centuries of medical reification and nosological reframing. This bibliographic overview establishes that the early specification and psychiatricization of early modern concepts of melancholy and hypochondriasis, imaginary syphilis or syphilophobia, animated the early respective territorializations of venereology, infectiology more broadly, neurology, and mental medicine. Together with mercuriophobia and a wider emergent clinical sensitivity to sexual angst, the diagnosis, while evidently only sporadically made, functioned as a durable soundboard in the confrontation of emergent medical rationale with various confounders and contenders: medically literate and increasingly mobile but possibly deluded patients; charlatans and putative malpractitioners; self-referral laboratory serology (after 1906); and eventually, through psychoanalysis, the patient’s unconscious. Requiring medical psychology early on, syphilology became and remained self-conscious and circumspect, attentive to the casualties of overdiagnosis, overtreatment, and iatrogenesis. Finally, patient apprehension led to makeshift forms of “moral treatment,” including fear-instilling and placebos

Les phobies ou les réactions hypocondriaques aux maladies vénériennes, à la syphilis tout particulièrement, ont généré de nombreuses réifications médicales et reconfigurations nosologiques au cours des trois derniers siècles. Le survol bibliographique présenté ici montre que les premières définitions psychiatriques des concepts modernes de mélancolie, d’hypocondrie, de « syphilis imaginaire » et de la « syphilophobie » sont à l’origine des découpages territoriaux entre vénérologie infectiologie, neurologie et médecine mentale. Dans un contexte associant la mercuriophobie et une nouvelle sensibilité clinique à l’angoisse sexuelle, le diagnostic (lorsqu’il était posé) agissait comme une caisse de résonance pour les confrontations entre les approches médicales émergentes et divers éléments favorisant la confusion. Parmi ces derniers, figuraient des patients plus ou moins bien informés, des charlatans et de faux professionnels, un laboratoire de sérologie douteux (après 1906) et, via la psychanalyse, l’inconscient des patients. Puisqu’elle nécessitait déjà une psychologie médicale, la syphilologie resta prudente et vigilante à l’égard des victimes de iatrogénèse, de surdiagnostic et de traitements excessifs. Éventuellement, l’anxiété des patients finit par engendrer des formes improvisées de « traitement moral », basées notamment sur la crainte ou les placébos.

“Une plus brillante moisson de citoyens sains et robustes”: Eugenic Discourses in French Canada (1902–10),” Vincent Auffrey. Abstract:

The Association des médecins de langue française d’Amérique du Nord (AMLFAN) was founded in Québec at the turn of the twentieth century. The physicians who convened at the Association between 1902 and 1910 shared a concern for the degeneration of the French-Canadian “race” under the effects of alcoholism, tuberculosis, and syphilis. For hygienists such as Arthur Rousseau and Charles-Narcisse Valin, this state of degeneration called for hygienic measures that would help regenerate and improve the French-Canadian race. While their suggestion that marriages be matched scientifically in order to prevent the transmission of hereditary and acquired defects from parent to offspring may be reminiscent of eugenics, French-Canadian physicians seemed to have no knowledge of Sir Francis Galton – eugenics’ “founding father” – and his work on the topic. This article compares French-Canadian eugenic discourses with Galtonian eugenics in order to shed light on the particularities of the French-Canadian case.

Au tournant du XXe siècle est fondée l’Association des médecins de langue française d’Amérique du Nord (AMLFAN). Parmi les questions scientifiques et d’intérêt professionnel qui y sont discutées, on discerne une préoccupation pour la dégénérescence de la « race » canadienne-française, qui serait causée par les trois fléaux que constituent l’alcoolisme, la syphilis et la tuberculose. Pour certains médecins hygiénistes, tels Arthur Rousseau et Charles-Narcisse Valin, cet état de détérioration exige la régénération, voire l’amélioration, de la race par des moyens hygiéniques – notamment l’assortiment judicieux des mariages afin d’éviter la transmission de tares héréditaires et acquises aux générations à venir. Ces discours ne sont pas sans rappeler ceux de Sir Francis Galton, « fondateur » britannique de l’eugénisme. Toutefois, les propos des médecins rassemblés à l’AMLFAN semblent avoir été conçus en parfaite ignorance de la théorie galtonienne. Cet article propose donc une analyse comparée de ces deux discours afin de mieux cerner les particularités du cas canadien-français.

Incertitude diagnostique et action politique : une association de parents face aux politiques de l’autisme, 1982–2017,” Dannick Rivest and Julien Prud’homme. Abstract:

La définition de catégories diagnostiques comme l’autisme ne fait pas toujours l’unanimité. Elle peut faire l’objet de luttes politiques entre divers acteurs, notamment les professionnel.le.s, les administrations publiques ou les associations de patients. On en sait toutefois peu sur la situation des associations de patients ou de parents dans ces « politiques du diagnostic ». Nous affirmons ici que ces associations sont plus sensibles aux politiques de la définition que l’historiographie actuelle ne le laisse paraître. En analysant le discours et les stratégies de la Société québécoise de l’autisme de 1982 à 2017, nous illustrons le rôle que cette association entendait jouer dans les politiques de l’autisme et nous démontrons que l’adoption par l’État de politiques axées sur le diagnostic a eu pour effet d’intensifier les débats définitionnels chez divers acteurs, y compris les parents.

The definition of diagnostic categories, such as autism, is not always consensual. It can be the cause of political struggles between various actors, including professionals, public administrations or patient associations. However, little is known about the situation of patient or parent associations in these “diagnostic politics.” We assert here that these associations are more sensitive to the politics of definition than is suggested by the current historiography. Through an analysis of discourses and strategies of the Quebec Autism Society from 1982 to 2017, we document the role that this association intended to play in the politics of autism and we show how the adoption by the state of diagnostic-based policies intensify definitional debates in civil society, including among parents.