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Traces of the New Zealand psychiatric hospital: Unpacking the place of stigma

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Abstract:

Abstract

We survey the status of former public psychiatric hospitals, asking what has happened to the land and buildings. Drawing on Anderson's notion of traces, we argue for the transcendent role of stigma in closure processes and in subsequent reuse. We examine the extent to which evidence of mental health care remains at former hospital sites and developed a fivefold classification of end uses – retained health care; trans‐institutionalisation (to new institutional uses); residential; commercial; and dereliction. We conclude that while stigma is pervasive in shaping traces of the psychiatric hospital, its effects are filtered by locality‐specific factors including commercial potential.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-7939.2012.01232.x

Affiliations: 1: School of Environment, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand 2: Department of Geography, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada 3: Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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