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Personality and Dangerousness

Personality and Dangerousness
Genealogies of Antisocial Personality Disorder


  • Date Published: September 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521008754

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About the Authors
  • In the aftermath of the Port Arthur shootings, Dunblane or the schoolyard killings in America, communities try to come to terms with private and public trauma and there is a need to understand what kind of person can commit such terrible acts. The problem of how to understand dangerousness often centres on the role of the mental health and criminal justice systems and it is from the intersection of these two institutions that the categorisation of dangerous persons has emerged. This 2001 book traces the history of the category of antisocial personality disorder and shows how it is linked to particular kinds of governing. It examines key legal and institutional developments in Australia, the UK and the US and also parallel developments within psychiatry and psychological medicine. Applying a social theoretical analysis to this material, McCallum challenges our assumptions about the formation and control concepts of dangerousness and personality.

    • Traces the history of antisocial personality development, looking at legal and institutional developments in Australia, the UK and the US over the last 200 years
    • Provides an analysis of how dangerousness is conceived
    • Parallels the development of the disciplines of psychiatry and psychological medicine
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a compelling read for those interested in a detailed history of legal and psychiatric responses to such disorders.' The Psychologist

    'McCallum has painstakingly assembled a rich collection of quotations from psychiatrists, neurologists and medical superintendents.' Psychological Medicine

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521008754
    • length: 204 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.348kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Law, psychiatry and the problem of disorder
    2. Histories of psychiatry and the asylum
    3. The borderland patient
    4. Counting, eugenics, mental hygiene
    5. The space for personality
    6. Surfaces of emergence
    7. Personality and dangerousness.

  • Author

    David McCallum, Victoria University of Technology, Melbourne
    David McCallum is Associate Professor in Sociology at Victoria University in Melbourne. He is the author of The Social Productions of Merit (1990) and numerous chapters and articles on the history of human sciences and government.

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