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A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness by Anne Rogers, David Pilgrim

By Anne Rogers, David Pilgrim

A important textual content for learning the results of psychological wellbeing and fitness and disease on a society

This bestselling textbook offers a transparent assessment of the key elements of the sociology of psychological healthiness and sickness. during this new version, the authors replace each one bankruptcy, making an allowance for fresh social technological know-how and social psychiatric literature.

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Additional resources for A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness

Sample text

Can be seen as a manic psychosis – a defense against entering the depressive position . . Sociologists find it difficult to recognise the limitations of their discipline – the depressive position – one reason being that we do not actually exercise power over anybody; social constructionism enables us to convince ourselves that the opposite is true, that we know everything about how people become what they are, that we do not have 12 A sociology of mental health and illness to take account of other disciplines or sciences, but we can explain everything .

During the late 1960s, sociologists became part of ‘anti-psychiatry’ or ‘critics of psychiatry’, according to leaders of the offended profession, such as Roth (1973). Thus, sociologists are in an ambivalent relationship to psychiatry. On the one hand, they have contributed to an expanded theory of aetiology, in tracing the social causes of mental illness; on the other, they have set up competing ways of conceptualizing mental abnormality. The bulk of the work we have reviewed in this chapter reflects a dominant sociological interest in mental abnormality and in psychiatry.

However, this medical confidence simply evades an obvious point: the bulk of what are called ‘mental disorders’ still have no definitive proven biological cause. The only aspects of the social this medical dogmatism leaves intact are the environmental factors, which might putatively contribute to the aetiology of illness. However, this stance is one reflection of a deeper problem for both medicine and sociology; the problem of mind/body dualism. Baker and Menken create a unity between mind and body by asserting the single centrality of the skin-encapsulated body out of which each and every form of human ill emerges.

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