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Making sense of Basaglia: Cross-cutting themes and unresolved issues 

Making sense of Basaglia: Cross-cutting themes and unresolved issues
Making sense of Basaglia: Cross-cutting themes and unresolved issues

Tom Burns

and John Foot

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date: 27 July 2021

The symposium in Oxford, in September 2018, heard 18 papers from 14 countries exploring the international reception of Basaglia and the Italian reforms. In the ensuing discussions, a number of issues arose which are addressed in this chapter. There were three striking omissions in Basaglian writing—primary care, gender, and the role of specialist services. Several thorny questions kept recurring. Was Basaglia an anti-psychiatrist? Was he a Marxist? Was the movement too ideological? What was the source of resistance from North European psychiatry? What explains the North/South implementation divide in Italy? In addition, differences in understanding two key concepts were explored. What is meant by a therapeutic community? What exactly is a mental hospital? These issues are explored in this final chapter in the hope that they will stimulate further research into a richer understanding of a man and movement whose international impact is undeniable but often misunderstood.

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