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Master Thesis

La Belle Époque de l'anorexie. Genèse, traitements et analyse socioculturelle de l’anorexie mentale en France entre 1873 et 1914

Abstract : Nowadays, anorexia nervosa is regarded as a distinctive sickness of the 21st century caused by the tyranny of thinness important in the Western society. However, anorexia nervosa is described as a disease, for the first time, at the end of the 19th century. At this time, doctors were alarmed by this sickness which affected essentially young women from the bourgeoisie, at the age of puberty. Through the study of fourteen medical publications, this thesis examines the genesis of anorexia nervosa in France between 1873 and 1914. The aim of this thesis is to study how medicine apprehended, conceptualised and became familiar with anorexia nervosa and its therapy, in relation to the medical context of this time. The criterions of recovery and the “typical anorexic” as seen by the doctors through their writings will be analysed in a gender perspective. Anorexia nervosa affects principally women from the 19th century to nowadays. With this in mind, this thesis will finally examine the factors of the disease in the French Belle-Epoque, like the cult of thinness and the social pressure exerted on female bodies. Even if the sources are written only by men, this thesis will try to highlight women’s testimonies in order to understand the patient’s life. Because anorexia nervosa affects physical and mental state, diet and familial relationships, this sickness has a lot to tell about our societies and their standards and deserves a higher attention in the History of medicine.
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Master Thesis
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Justine Gardier. La Belle Époque de l'anorexie. Genèse, traitements et analyse socioculturelle de l’anorexie mentale en France entre 1873 et 1914. Histoire. 2019. ⟨dumas-02503998⟩

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