This paper investigates the reactions of patients in the national leprosarium at Carville, Louisiana to the loss of their old identities and the gain of a new one as a patient during the middle of the 20th century. The patient identity was formed by isolation, stigma, community, and domesticity within the hospital. Over the course of their time in the hospital, residents rejected, embraced and worked to change the patient identity. They typically reacted in a combination of these ways. This paper uses memoirs, oral histories, and patient published newspapers to investigate questions of patient identity at Carville. The goal of this research is to identify major components of patient identity, how these shape the reactions of Carville residents to their patient status, and why patients reacted to their new identity in certain ways.


Ng, Margaret




Carville, leprosy, identity, patient, Hansen's disease

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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