Kearns, Robin, Joseph, Alun and Moon, Graham
Traces of the New Zealand psychiatric hospital: unpacking the place of stigma
New Zealand Geographer
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We surveyed the status of former public psychiatric hospitals, asking what has happened to the land and buildings. Drawing on Anderson’s notion of traces, we argued for the transcendent role of stigma in closure processes and in subsequent reuse. We examined 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 concluded that while stigma is pervasive in shaping traces of the psychiatric hospital, its effects are filtered by locality-specific factors including commercial potential.
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