Being Mentally Ill, 3e / Edition 3

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In incorporating social process into a model of the dynamics of mental disorders, this text questions the individualistic model favoured in current psychiatric and psychoanalytic theory. While the conventional psychiatric viewpoint seeks the causes of mental illness, Scheff views "the symptoms of mental illness" as the violation of residual rules - social norms so taken for granted that they are not explicitly verbalized. The sociological theory developed by Scheff to account for such behaviour provides a framework for studies reported in subsequent chapters. Two key assumptions emerge: first, that most chronic mental illness is in part a social role; and second, that societal reaction may in part determine entry into that role. Throughout, the sociological model of mental illness is compared and contrasted with more conventional medical and psychological models in an attempt to delineate significant problems for further analysis and research. This third edition has been revised and expanded to encompass the controversy prompted by the first edition, and also to re-evaluate developments in the field. New to this edition are discussions of the use of psychoactive drugs in the treatment of mental illness, changing mental health laws, new social science and psychiatric studies, and the controversy surrounding the labelling theory of mental illness itself.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780202305875
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Series: Social Problems and Social Issues Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Part I Introduction
1 Biological Psychiatry and Labeling Theory 3
Effectiveness of Psychoactive Drugs 6
Placebo Reactions 7
Are Psychoactive Drugs Safe? 8
Challenging the Rule of Biopsychiatry 10
The Emotional/Relational World 13
Gove's Critique of the Labeling Theory of Mental Illness 15
2 Individual and Social Systems in Deviance 17
Part II Theory
3 Social Control as a System 31
Areas of Social Control 40
The Societal Reaction to Deviance 45
Conclusion 50
4 Residual Deviance 53
The Origins of Residual Rule-Breaking 58
Prevalence 63
The Duration and Consequences of Residual Rule-Breaking 65
5 The Social Institution of Insanity 69
Individual and Interpersonal Systems in Role-Playing 70
Learning and Maintaining Role Imagery 74
Normalization and Labeling 84
Acceptance of the Deviant Role 86
A Note on Feedback in Deviance-Amplifying Systems 94
Conclusion 97
Part III The Power of the Psychiatrist
6 Decisions in Medicine 101
Type 1 and Type 2 Errors 103
Decision Rules in Medicine 104
Basic Assumptions 106
The "Sick Role" 108
Implications for Research 110
7 Negotiating Reality: Notes on Power in the Assessment of Responsibility 115
The Process of Negotiation 120
A Contrasting Case 123
Discussion 126
Conclusion: Negotiation in Social Science Research 130
Part IV The Emotional/Relational World
8 A Psychiatric Interview: Alienation between Patient and Psychiatrist 135
Social Action and Natural Language 136
Example of Interaction Ritual: The Opening Exchange in a Conversation 139
Embarrassment and Anger: The Feeling Trap of Shame-Rage 141
Interpretation and Context 145
Implicature, Context, and Social Structure 152
9 Labeling in the Family: Hidden Shame and Anger 157
Pride, Shame, and the Social Bond 159
A New Labeling Theory 161
Labeling in the Family: A Case Study (Based on Scheff 1989) 161
Labeling by Psychiatrists 171
Conclusion 172
Part V Summary and Review
10 Conclusion 177
Symptom, Context, and Meaning 177
Typification in Diagnosis 182
Mental Illness and Social Status 188
Implications of the Emotional/Relational World for Treatment and Research 197
Appendix Impact of the 1966 Edition on Legislative Change 201
References 203
Index 213
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