A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness

Overview

The revised edition of this best-selling book provides a clear overview of the major aspects of the sociology of mental health and illness. As well as drawing upon a range of social theories and methods to illustrate its points, it provides the reader with information which is organized along dimensions of class, gender, race and age. The mental health professions are critically analysed and long standing debates about the role of legalism explored. Organizational aspects of psychiatry are examined as well as the...
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Overview

The revised edition of this best-selling book provides a clear overview of the major aspects of the sociology of mental health and illness. As well as drawing upon a range of social theories and methods to illustrate its points, it provides the reader with information which is organized along dimensions of class, gender, race and age. The mental health professions are critically analysed and long standing debates about the role of legalism explored. Organizational aspects of psychiatry are examined as well as the growing relevance of community mental health work. The book ends with a discussion of the various ways in which psychiatric patients and their relatives can be understood in their social context.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Cheryl Laskowski
This second edition book represents a fascinating exploration of a sociology of mental health/illness. Using a variety of sociological theories, the authors offer multiple interpretations of issues relating to mental health and illness including gender, social class, and psychiatric treatment modalities. The first edition was published in 1993. According to the authors, the purpose is to analyze, from a sociological standpoint, a "complex body of interdisciplinary knowledge" relating to mental health/illness. The exploration of mental health/illness from critical theory, social constructivism, and social realism perspectives is certainly a worthy objective that they clearly meet. The audience is interdisciplinary; undergraduate and graduate students from sociology, psychology, medicine, and nursing are likely to benefit from reading this text. Topics relating to mental health and illness are separated into chapters and addressed from multiple sociological standpoints. The reader who is unfamiliar with sociological theories will benefit from an introductory chapter addressing them. Helpful overviews of each chapter are presented, as are discussion questions and recommended readings. An extensive reference list includes both classic and current references related to sociological dimensions of mental health and illness. In this text, the authors engage the reader in exploring topics relating to mental health and illness from a variety of sociological positions. Multiple changes in the first edition the justify the current, updated edition. Readers will find that the authors of this excellent book challenge the status quo of typical psychiatric discourse. I highly recommend it.
Booknews
Pilgrim (sociology, U. of Liverpool) and Rogers (health care, U. of Manchester) use characteristics such as age, race, gender, and class to analyze the sociological factors involved in mental illness. They also provide chapters on the mental health professions, treatment, and legal issues to provide an overview of the major aspects of the sociology of mental health and illness. Their conclusion discusses the ways psychiatric patients and their families can be assisted by understanding their social context. Distributed by Taylor & Francis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Cheryl Laskowski, DNS, RN, CS (Daemen College)
Description: This second edition book represents a fascinating exploration of a sociology of mental health/illness. Using a variety of sociological theories, the authors offer multiple interpretations of issues relating to mental health and illness including gender, social class, and psychiatric treatment modalities. The first edition was published in 1993.
Purpose: According to the authors, the purpose is to analyze, from a sociological standpoint, a "complex body of interdisciplinary knowledge" relating to mental health/illness. The exploration of mental health/illness from critical theory, social constructivism, and social realism perspectives is certainly a worthy objective that they clearly meet.
Audience: The audience is interdisciplinary; undergraduate and graduate students from sociology, psychology, medicine, and nursing are likely to benefit from reading this text.
Features: Topics relating to mental health and illness are separated into chapters and addressed from multiple sociological standpoints. The reader who is unfamiliar with sociological theories will benefit from an introductory chapter addressing them. Helpful overviews of each chapter are presented, as are discussion questions and recommended readings. An extensive reference list includes both classic and current references related to sociological dimensions of mental health and illness.
Assessment: In this text, the authors engage the reader in exploring topics relating to mental health and illness from a variety of sociological positions. Multiple changes in the first edition the justify the current, updated edition. Readers will find that the authors of this excellent book challenge the status quo of typical psychiatric discourse. I highly recommend it.

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780335190133
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
  • Publication date: 11/1/1993
  • Pages: 198

Table of Contents

Preface to the second edition
List of figures and tables
1 Perspectives on mental health and illness 1
2 Social class, inequalities, and mental health 25
3 Gender 41
4 Race and ethnicity 64
5 Age 84
6 The mental health professions 100
7 Questions of treatment 118
8 The organization of psychiatry 142
9 Psychiatry and legal control 165
10 Users of mental health services 189
References 210
Index 232
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