A sociology of mental illness. Sociology of Mental Illness / Edition 2 by Mark Tausig 2022-10-28
A sociology of mental illness Rating:
Mental illness is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that has garnered significant attention from sociologists in recent years. At its core, mental illness refers to a wide range of psychological conditions that can affect an individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These conditions can range from mild and temporary to severe and chronic, and they can have a significant impact on an individual's social interactions, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Sociologists have long been interested in the social factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of mental illness. For example, research has shown that people who experience discrimination, poverty, or social isolation are more likely to experience mental health problems. Similarly, social norms and expectations can have a powerful impact on an individual's mental health. For example, people who feel pressure to conform to certain gender roles or expectations of success may be more vulnerable to mental health problems.
In addition to these social factors, sociologists have also studied the ways in which mental illness is constructed and understood within different societies and cultures. In many societies, mental illness is still stigmatized and misunderstood, which can make it difficult for people who experience mental health problems to seek help and support. This stigmatization can also create barriers to accessing effective treatment and support services, further exacerbating the challenges faced by people with mental illness.
Despite these challenges, there is growing awareness and recognition of the importance of addressing mental illness from a social perspective. Many organizations and advocacy groups are working to reduce stigma and promote a more inclusive and supportive society for people with mental health problems. In addition, sociologists and other social scientists continue to conduct research on the social dimensions of mental illness in order to better understand and address this complex issue.
Overall, the sociology of mental illness is a rich and varied field that encompasses a wide range of social and cultural factors that can impact mental health. By understanding the complex social forces that contribute to mental illness, we can work to create a more inclusive and supportive society for everyone.
A Sociology of Mental Illness by Mark Tausig
Perspectives on mental health and illness 3 The question begged is: what has medicine to do with that wide range of mental problems that elude a biological explanation? Szasz also argued that judgements made by psychiatrists may be based on social values and cultural norms rather than scientific criteria. Most patients, most of the time, are neither unpredictable nor violent. Sociologists have played a crucial role in analyzing the sources and the impact of most of these changes, and sociological perspectives have spread and been highly influential among others attempting to make sense of these profoundly important developments. Social class and mental health 57 Lay views about mental health and social class While there has been a social psychiatric epidemiology which maps the relationship between social variations and mental health, the views of people within different classes about the topic of mental health and social class has, until recently, been a relatively neglected area. Also, growing conditions of poverty significantly affects how people perform on tests of abstract thinking, intelligence and academic achievement Franks 1993. However, as work we summarize in Chapters 2 and 10 xvi A sociology of mental health and illness shows, public, media and politician concerns have focused unduly on the actual or assumed risk from psychiatric patients. There are no benchmarks that experts from different camps can agree on and discuss.
The Sociological Study of Mental Illness: A Historical Perspective
For instance, a psychiatrist treating a patient with antidepressant drugs may recognize fully that living in a high-rise flat and being unemployed have been the main causes of the depressive illness, and may assume that the stress this induces has triggered biochemical changes in the brain, which can be corrected by using medication. I am only a lowly mental patient. Societies which are organized around mechanical rationality would place more of a value in careful rule compliance than those which were more laisser faire. Jurors were not prepared to allow him the excuse of mental ill health and found him guilty of malice aforethought. Let's look at the two main perspectives on mental health in sociology: interactionism and structuralism.
Sociology of Mental Illness / Edition 2 by Mark Tausig
With or without an expertise in the field of mental abnormality, most people know madness when they see it. A question begged, of course, is who decides on the cut offs at each end of the frequency distribution of speech speed and how are those decisions made? Written with undergraduates and mental health professionals in mind, it fills a huge void in the literature. The force of these arguments can be seen in the continuing debates both within sociology and across other disciplines. The legal framework thus tends to deploy tautological definitions or accepts that mental disorder is what mental health experts say it is. This fear is so great that a taboo has emerged in the colony about patients marrying nonpatients.
The Sociology of Mental Health and Illness on JSTOR
Evidence of the link between poverty and mental health is evident in relation to other social groupings. This emphasis has been criticized for being reductionist reducing the field of inquiry to that of the characteristics and plight of the stigmatized individual. The integration of Freudianism was selective and critical, filtering out or querying elements such as the death instinct a revision of classical psychoanalytical theory by Freud himself Freud 1920 and questioning the mechanistic aspect of instinctual drive-theory. It has also long been a beacon, and will continue to guide, mental health practitioners keen to better understand and engage with the social dimensions of their work. Those psychiatrists who have rejected this illness framework, in whole or in part, tend to have been exposed to, and have accepted, an alternative view derived from another discourse psychology, philosophy or sociology. On the one hand, the absence of intelligibility is a sociological rationale to account for madness in non-medical terms. This strongly advocates the universalization of key features of mental health provision irrespective of cultural, social or economic context.
Neurology and psychiatry must end the twentieth century schism that has divided their fields. Most people would speak at a pace between these upper and lower points of frequency. This goes further than labelling theory, which left the ontological status of primary deviance intact. The workshop of the industry would be benign and would prevent a deterioration in the condition that required repair; Mental health services are clearly not always benign. On the other hand, most psychiatric patients are not mad and those that are, are not mad all of the time. Those who emphasize primary deviance the patient is deemed to fail socially because they are mentally ill will see labelling, especially that done diagnostically by professionals, as being positive not negative, as it warrants access to care and treatment.
In our Perspectives on mental health and illness 11 discussion, each perspective may be warranting certain types of reality but not others. Similarly, Browning and Cagney 2003 found that affluence is a precursor to residential stability and its associated mental health benefits. This is because they are much more likely to reach the mental health system via the police, courts and prisons, which operate on racist stereotypes of black men being more aggressive and dangerous than men of other ethnicities. This existential development of humanistic Marxism competed with another and more elaborate set of discussions about Perspectives on mental health and illness 13 the relationship between unconscious mental life and societal determinants and constraints. The primary care system is left to contain biopsychosocial distress, often without recourse to the quantity and quality of palliation available to those designated with clear physical problems on the one hand or psychiatric problems on the other May et al. This does not imply, though, that views are evenly spread throughout the profession, and as we will see later in the book, modern Western psychiatry is an eclectic enterprise. Treatment is, indeed, designed to benefit society, but only in the limited sense of providing the appropriate scapegoat so as to avoid dealing with real issues.
The web site also provides information and pricing for all printed volumes, online publications, and reprint collections. Despite this, the powerful stereotype that they should be denied credibility because of their irrationality leads to stigma and discrimination in most modern societies. Housing and mental health The second broad set of antecedent factors relates not to employment status but to accommodation. What we have is a fragmented set of perspectives, divided internally and from one another, which occasionally overlap and enter the same world of discourse. The only aspects of the social this medical dogmatism leaves intact are the environmental factors, which might putatively contribute to the aetiology of illness. It does, however, have dominant features. The bulk of the work we have reviewed in this chapter reflects a dominant sociological interest in mental abnormality and in psychiatry.
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It postulates that mental illnesses are the result of medical issues e. Apart from the displacement of Marxism as the central discursive focus of class within sociology, societal changes have brought with them difficulties in thinking simply about the concept and formulating and conducting empirical projects. The knowledge that, under enormous stress, even the apparently psychiatrically healthy broke down in large numbers, and the heroic status of these psychiatric casualties, also helped change popular attitudes to mental illness, and encouraged the psychiatric profession to believe that many cases of mental illness could be treated outside the walls of the mental hospitals to which the mentally ill had been traditionally sent Scull 2010. As a consequence of points 2 and 3 social psychiatric investigations should be accepted tentatively. Bhaskar 1978; 1989 outlines the philosophical basis of realism and we will draw out, briefly, the implications of his work for a sociology of mental health and illness.