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Dividing Practices in Bombay’s Hospitals and Lunatic Asylums

Dividing Practices in Bombay’s Hospitals and Lunatic Asylums

Chapter:
(p.117) 4 Dividing Practices in Bombay’s Hospitals and Lunatic Asylums
Source:
A Joint Enterprise
Author(s):
Preeti Chopra
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816670369.003.0004

Focusing on hospitals and lunatic asylums, this chapter shows how both the British authorities and the Indian philanthropists created a divided public realm, a fractured landscape, through their dividing practices. It examines two types of social dividing practices or modes: stylistic marking and spatial exclusion. Drawing on Michel Foucault's work, the anthropologist Paul Rabinow defines “dividing practices” as “modes of manipulation that combine the mediation of a science (or pseudoscience) and the practice of exclusion—usually in a spatial sense, but always in a social one.” The European sick, for example, were distinguished from the native sick in Bombay; they were housed in different hospitals, located in different spaces in the city. When similar architectural styles were used for European and native hospitals, then other elements, such as location or the name (such as “European” or “native” hospital), were necessary to distinguish between groups.

Keywords:   Bombay, philanthropy, Indian philanthropists, British authorities, social division, stylistic marking, spatial exclusion, hospitals, lunatic asylums

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