Abstract

In a scene from an early episode of the popular American drama series Mad Men, the character Paul Kinsey warns: ‘A modern executive is a busy man. He leads a complicated life. He has family and leisure – and he’s supposed to keep all that straight.’1 The show follows the lives of a group of men and women working in the ruthless Madison Avenue advertising world during the 1960s (hence the name Mad Men) and is now well-known for its depiction of the merciless and aggressive competitiveness of the industry and its portrayal of heavy drinking and adultery – features which are said to have characterised 1960s corporate culture. Perhaps not so typical of the lives of ordinary men in Britain, the show nonetheless communicates a sense of some of the pressures facing men in a rapidly changing post-war world. The degree to which men actually succeeded in ‘keeping all that straight’ in Britain and the United States (US) during the period has recently become a topic for debate among social commentators, and academic historians.2 However, the ways in which men coped with professional and personal pressures are less well understood, and we know very little about the degree to which men suffered from emotional and psychological difficulties and how they dealt with them when they did.

Notes

  1. 2.
    See for example: Lynne Segal, Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, third edition 2007);Google Scholar
  2. Susan Faludi, Stiffed: The Betrayal of Modern Man (New York, W. Morrow and Co., 1999);Google Scholar
  3. James Gilbert, Men in the Middle: Searching for Masculinity in the 1950s (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2005);Google Scholar
  4. Barbara Ehrenreich, The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight from Commitment (New York, Anchor/ Doubleday, 1983);Google Scholar
  5. Michael Roper, Masculinity and the British Organization Man since 1945 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1984);Google Scholar
  6. Frank Mort, Cultures of Consumption: Masculinities and Social Space in Late Twentieth-Century Britain (London and New York, Routledge, 1996);Google Scholar
  7. and Frank Mort, ‘Social and symbolic fathers and sons in post-war Britain’, The Journal of British Studies (1999), 38 (3), 353–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 3.
    It is generally accepted in medical circles that women are more likely than men to be ‘diagnosed’ with a mental health condition. This is a point discussed recently in Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman, The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth about Men, Women and Mental Health (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013).Google Scholar
  9. 4.
    For a discussion of these debates, see Ali Haggett, Desperate Housewives: Neuroses and the Domestic Environment 1945#x2013;1970 (London, Pickering and Chatto, 2012).Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    For recent discussion, see D. Wilkins, Untold Problems: A Review of the Essential Issues in the Mental Health of Men and Boys (Men’s Health Forum, 2009), p. 32. For historical data seeGoogle Scholar
  11. C. A. H. Watts, Depressive Disorders in the Community (Bristol, John Wright and Sons, 1966), p. 119.Google Scholar
  12. 8.
    See for example J. G. Bancroft and C. A. H. Watts, ‘A survey of patients with chronic illness in a general practice’, Journal of the College of General Practitioners (1959), 2, 338–45, statistics on 341. This subject is discussed more fully in Chapter 3 of this book.Google Scholar
  13. 11.
    These ideas are set out fully in Mark Micale, Hysterical Men: The Hidden History of Male Nervous Illness (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 13.
    On neurasthenia, see Ruth E. Taylor, ‘Death of neurasthenia and its psychological reincarnation’, British Journal of Psychiatry (2001), 179, 550–7;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Edward Shorter, From Paralysis to Fatigue: A History of Psychosomatic Illness in the Modern Era (New York, Free Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  16. 14.
    Gastric disorders during the Second World War are explored more thoroughly in Chapter 1 of this book. For war trauma, see Edgar Jones and Simon Wessely, From Shell Shock to PTSD: Military Psychiatry from 1900 to the Gulf War (Hove, Psychology Press, 2005);Google Scholar
  17. Fiona Reid, Broken Men: Shell Shock Treatment and Recovery in Britain 1914–1930 (London, Bloomsbury, 2011);Google Scholar
  18. Ben Shephard, A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists, 1914–1994 (London, Pimlico New Edition 2002);Google Scholar
  19. and Joanna Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War (London, Reaktion, new edition 1999).Google Scholar
  20. 15.
    The theory of performativity is set out in Judith Butler, Gender Trouble (Abingdon and New York, Routledge, 1990) and developed further inGoogle Scholar
  21. Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter (Abingdon and New York, Routledge, 1993).Google Scholar
  22. 17.
    Edward Royle, ‘Trends in post-war British social history’, in James Obelkevich and Peter Catterall (eds), Understanding Post- War British Society (London, Routledge, 1994), pp. 9–18, on p. 12.Google Scholar
  23. 18.
    See Cynthia White, The Women’s Periodical Press in Britain 1946–1976: the Royal Commission on the Press (London, HMSO, 1977);Google Scholar
  24. Cynthia White, Women’s Magazines 1963–1968 (London, Michael Joseph, 1970);Google Scholar
  25. and Brian Henry (ed.), British Television Advertising: the First 30 Years (London, Century Benham, 1986).Google Scholar
  26. 19.
    Paul Addison, No Turning Back: The Peacetime Revolutions of Post-War Britain (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 66.Google Scholar
  27. 20.
    For debates about the extent to which both systems were in fact ‘egalitarian’, see Michael Sanderson, ‘Education and social mobility’, in Paul Johnson (ed.), Twentieth Century Britain: Economic, Social and Cultural Change (Harlow, Addison Wesley Longman, 1998 edition), pp. 374–91.Google Scholar
  28. 22.
    James Obelkevich and Peter Catterall, ‘Introduction’, in James Obelkevich and Peter Catterall (eds), Understanding Post-War British Society’ (London, Routledge, 1994) pp. 1–8, on p. 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 23.
    Chris Harris, ‘The family in post-war Britain’, in James Obelkevich and Peter Catterall (eds), Understanding Post-War British Society (London, Routledge, 1994) pp. 45–57, on p. 50.Google Scholar
  30. 24.
    Harris, ‘The family in post-war Britain’, p. 49. See Michael Young and Peter Willmott, Family and Kinship in East London (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957)Google Scholar
  31. and Elizabeth Bott, Family and Social Networks (London, Tavistock, 1957).Google Scholar
  32. 25.
    Raymond Firth, Two Studies of Kinship (London, London School of Economics, 1956)Google Scholar
  33. and Peter Willmott and Michael Young, Family and Class in a London Suburb (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1960).Google Scholar
  34. See also Peter Townsend, The Family Life of Old People (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957).Google Scholar
  35. 26.
    See J. H. Goldthorpe, D. Lockwood, F. Bechhofer and J. Platt, The Affluent Worker: Industrial Attitudes and Behaviour (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1968a);Google Scholar
  36. J. H. Goldthorpe, D. Lockwood, F. Bechhofer and J. Platt, The Affluent Worker: Political Attitudes and Behaviour (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1968b);Google Scholar
  37. J. H. Goldthorpe, D. Lockwood, F. Bechhofer and J. Platt, The Affluent Worker in the Class Structure (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  38. 27.
    See Stephen Taylor and Sidney Chave, ‘Mental health in Harlow New Town’, Journal of Psychosomatic Research (1966), 10, 38–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. and E. H. Hare and G. K. Shaw, Mental Health on a New Housing Estate: A Comparative Study of Health in Two Districts of Croydon (London, Oxford University Press, 1965).Google Scholar
  40. 31.
    See for example: Judith Huback, Wives Who Went to College (London, William Heinemann, 1957);Google Scholar
  41. Alva Myrdal and Viola Klein, Women’s Two Roles: Home and Work (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1956);Google Scholar
  42. and Viola Klein, Britain’s Married Women Workers (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965).Google Scholar
  43. 32.
    John Sutherland, Reading the Decades: Fifty Years of the Nation’s Bestselling Books (London, BBC, 2002), p. 14.Google Scholar
  44. 34.
    For a detailed account of representations of masculinity in British and film, see Andrew Spicer, Typical Men: The Representation of Masculinity in Popular British Cinema (London, I B Tauris, 2001). Spicer argues that male stereotypes can be categorised into cultural ‘types’ – some that arise during a particular historical moment (such as the ‘angry young men’) and others that are overarching archetypes (such as the ‘fool’ and the ‘rogue’ whose cultural histories are extensive).Google Scholar
  45. See also Stella Bruzzi, Bringing up Daddy: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Post-War Hollywood (London, British Film Institute, 2005).Google Scholar
  46. 38.
    Helen Mayer Hacker, ‘The new burdens of masculinity’, Marriage and Family Living (1957), 19, 227–33, on 227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 39.
    Ruth Hartley, ‘Sex-role pressures in the socialisation of the child’, Psychological Reports (1959), 5, 457–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 40.
    Sidney M. Jourard, ‘Some lethal aspects of the male role’, in Joseph H. Pleck and Jack Sawyer (eds), Men and Masculinity (New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1974), pp. 21–9, on p. 22.Google Scholar
  49. 41.
    Victor J. Seidler, The Achilles Heel Reader: Men, Sexual Politics and Socialism (London, Routledge, 1991), p. ix.Google Scholar
  50. 43.
    For a full analysis of men’s liberation groups, see Michael A. Messner, ‘The limits of the male sex role: An analysis of the men’s liberation and men’s rights movements discourse’, Gender and Society (1998), 12 (3), 255–76. Messner notes that the men’s movement broadly split between those who emphasised ‘men’s rights’ and were opposed to feminist claims that patriarchy benefited men at women’s expense, and those who aligned themselves with feminists to confront patriarchy.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 45.
    Anne Rogers and David Pilgrim, A Sociology of Health and Illness (Maidenhead, Open University Press, fourth edition, 2010), Chapter 4.Google Scholar
  52. 46.
    John A. Ryle, ‘Aetiology: A plea for wider concepts and new study’, Lancet, 11 July 1942, 29–30. See also John A. Ryle, Changing Disciplines: Lectures on the History, Method and Motives of Social Pathology (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1948).Google Scholar
  53. 49.
    J. L. Halliday, Psychosocial Medicine: A Study of the Sick Society (London: William Heinemann, 1948). For a full account of Halliday’s theories, and his use of National Insurance claims as ‘psychological documents’, see Hayward, The Transformation of the Psyche, Chapter 3.Google Scholar
  54. 50.
    Mark Jackson, The Age of Stress, Science and the Search for Stability (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 52.
    Dorothy Porter, ‘Introduction’, to John A. Ryle, Changing Disciplines (New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction, 1994 edition), p. xxxi.Google Scholar
  56. See also Dorothy Porter, ‘The decline of social medicine in Britain in the 1960s’, in Dorothy Porter (ed.), Social Medicine and Medical Sociology in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam, Editions Rodopi, 1997), pp. 97–119. Important developments nonetheless include research into the links between smoking and lung cancer by Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill, and research into coronary heart disease by J. N. Morris.Google Scholar
  57. See J. Pemberton, ‘Origins and early history of the Society for Social Medicine in the UK and Ireland’, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (2002), 54, 342–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 54.
    H. J. Walton, ‘Effect of the doctor’s personality on his style of practice’, Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners (1969), 17, 82, supplement 3, 6–17, on 6.Google Scholar
  59. 57.
    A problem discussed in C. Gordon, A. R. Emerson and D. S. Pugh, ‘Patterns of sickness absence in a railway population’, British Journal of Industrial Medicine (1959), 16, 230–43. See also Jackson, The Age of Stress, p. 200.Google Scholar
  60. 58.
    The lack of attention paid to the influence of social and emotional factors on health at work is examined by R. Jenkins in ‘Minor psychiatric morbidity in employed young men and women and its contribution to sickness absence’, British Journal of Industrial Medicine (1985), 42, 147–54, on 150. For a polemic debate about the new social theory,Google Scholar
  61. see James Le Fanu, The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine (London, Abacus, 2000 edition).Google Scholar
  62. 59.
    This debate, its history and contemporary relevance is discussed in James Colgrove, ‘The McKeown thesis: A historical controversy and its enduring influence’, American Journal of Public Health (2002), 92 (5), 725–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Arthur Kleinman, ‘Depression, somatisation and the “new cross-cultural psychiatry”’, Social Science and Medicine (1977), 11 (3), 3–10, on 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 63.
    Arthur Kleinman, The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing and the Human Condition (New York, Basic Books, 1988), p. xiii.Google Scholar
  65. 69.
    A point made by Elisabeth Hsu in Elisabeth Hsu, ‘“Holism” and the medicalisation of emotion: The case of anger in Chinese medicine’, in Peregrine Horden and Elisabeth Hsu (eds), The Body in Balance: Humoral Medicines in Practice (New York and Oxford, Berghan, 2013), pp. 197–217, on 200.Google Scholar
  66. 70.
    John F. Kihlstrom and Lucy Canter Kihlstrom, ‘Somatisation as illness behaviour’, Advances in Mind-Body Medicine (2001), 17, 240–3, on 243.Google Scholar
  67. 72.
    George L. Engel, ‘The need for a new medical model: A challenge for bio-medicine’, Science (1977), 196, 129–36, on 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 73.
    S. Nassir Ghaemi, ‘The biopsychosocial model in psychiatry: a critique’, Existenz (2011), 6 (1), 1–8, on 3.Google Scholar
  69. 75.
    The basic argument put forward in N. McLaren, ‘A critical review of the biopsychosocial model’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (1998), 32, 86–92.Google Scholar
  70. 76.
    Suman Fernando, Mental Health, Race and Culture (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 edition), p. 42. My emphasis.Google Scholar
  71. 80.
    John Tosh, Manliness and Masculinities in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Harlow, Pearson Longman, 2005), p. 2.Google Scholar
  72. 82.
    Joan Scott, ‘Gender: A useful category of historical analysis’, in Joan Scott (ed.), Feminism and History (Oxford, 1996), pp. 152–80. Originally published in The American Historical Review, 91 (1986), 1053–75.Google Scholar
  73. 83.
    Joan Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (New York, Columbia University, 1999), p. 6.Google Scholar
  74. 84.
    See Stephen Whitehead, ‘Masculinity: Shutting out the nasty bits’, Gender, Work and Organization (2000), 7 (2), 133–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. See also John Tosh, ‘What should historians do with masculinity? Reflections on nineteenth-century Britain’, History Workshop Journal (1994), 38, 179–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 85.
    See Maria Lohan, ‘Developing a critical men’s health debate in academic scholarship’, in Brendan Gough and Steve Robertson (eds), Men, Masculinities and Health: Critical Perspectives (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 11–29, on p. 12.Google Scholar
  77. 90.
    Steve Robertson and Robert Williams, ‘The importance of retaining a focus on masculinities in future studies on men and health’, in Giles Tremblay and François-Olivier Bernard (eds), Future Perspectives for Intervention, Policy and Research on Men and Masculinities: An International Forum (Harriman TN, Men’s Studies Press, 2012), pp. 119–33, on pp. 121, 123.Google Scholar
  78. See also J. Hearne, ‘Is masculinity dead?: A critique of the concept of masculinity/ masculinities’, in M. Mac an Ghaill (ed.), Understanding Masculinities (Buckingham, Open University Press, 1996)Google Scholar
  79. and K. Clatterbaugh, Contemporary Perspectives on Masculinity: Men, Women and Politics in Modern Society (Oxford, Westview, 2nd edition 1997).Google Scholar
  80. 94.
    Michael Roper, ‘Slipping out of view: Subjectivity and emotion in gender history’, History Workshop Journal, 59 (2005), 57–72, on 62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 95.
    Karen Harvey and Alexandra Shepard, ‘What have historians done with masculinity? Reflections on five centuries of British History, 1500–1950’, Journal of British Studies, (2005), 44, 274–80, on 277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 99.
    Steve Robertson and Robert Williams, ‘Men, public health and health promotion: Towards a critically structural and embodied understanding’, in Brendan Gough and Steve Robertson (eds), Men, Masculinities and Health:Critical Perspectives (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) , pp. 48–66, on p. 59.Google Scholar
  83. 100.
    For the history of psychiatric services in Britain, see K. Jones, A History of the Mental Health Services (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972);Google Scholar
  84. Andy Bell and Peter Lindley, Beyond the Water Towers: The Unfinished Revolution in Mental Health Services 1985–2005 (London, The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2005);Google Scholar
  85. and Helen Gilburt and Edward Peck, Service Transformation: Lessons from Mental Health (London, The King’s Fund, 2014).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ali Haggett 2015

Open Access This Chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Haggett
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ExeterUK

Personalised recommendations