In the aftermath of the Port Arthur shootings, Dunblane or the
schoolyard killings in America, communities try to come to terms
with private and public trauma and there is a need to understand
what kind of person can commit such terrible acts. The problem of
how to understand dangerousness often centres on the role of the
mental health and criminal justice systems and it is from the
intersection of these two institutions that the categorisation of
dangerous persons has emerged. This 2001 book traces the history of
the category of antisocial personality disorder and shows how it is
linked to particular kinds of governing. It examines key legal and
institutional developments in Australia, the UK and the US and also
parallel developments within psychiatry and psychological medicine.
Applying a social theoretical analysis to this material, McCallum
challenges our assumptions about the formation and control concepts
of dangerousness and personality.
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