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Lecture 14

2D06 Lecture 14 "The Social Psychology of Mental Illness".docx

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Fox 1 Lecture 14 SOCIOL 2D06 Wednesday January 29, 2014  Social Psychology of Mental Health • Not that long ago, mental health was only talked about in discussions of the sociology of deviance o Negative label and stigma o “sociology of nuts, sluts, and perverts” (Liazos & Liazos, 1972) • Changing terminology: o Badness to sickness/illness (Conrad &Schneider, 1980)  Social Psychology of Mental Illness Symbolic Interactionism/Social Constructionism (SI/SC): • Who and what problems are defined as mental illness or health? • How can we/do define mental illness? • Acknowledge the changing meanings, definitions, and constructions of mental health and illness over time o Historically, cultural, and socially • Foucault (1965) was one of the first scholars to study historical constructions of mental illness  3 Paradigms in the History of Mental Illness & Health (Conrad & Schneider, 1992): 1) Sin Paradigm (17 century) • Role of the church • Ex=witch trials th th 2) Crime Paradigm (Late 17 – 18 century) • Secularization; move to criminalization 3) Disease Paradigm (19 Century) • Medicalization; identifying and treating disease, illness of health-related diseases • Movement towards “medicalization” o Deviance, social problems, illness, etc., can be identified, treated (and labelled) controlled/managed by the medical field • Medicalization involves power o Power to define, label, and control what is seen as mental illness or health, and “appropriate” ways to deal or treat it Fox 2 Lecture 14 • 3 assumptions of the medical model 1) Cause o In this case, medical/biological; something within the individual 2) Labelling of the problem 3) Treatment or management • Because this is rooted in social construction, what conditions, issues, symptoms, behaviors, etc., are labelled or medicalized can change over time o EX= Homosexuality  Conrad notes 3 important trends in medicalization: o “The power and authority of the medical profession” o Decision-making power to define what is or is not mental illness or health and label it as such o “Activities of social movements and interests groups” o Creation of support groups, movements or organizations that want to “medicalize an issue” o “Directed organizational or professional activities” o Policies, guidelines (i.e., DSM) or defining and labeling of diseases, treatments, protocols, etc., • Therefore, medicalization of mental illness and illness operates like the process of Claimsmaking o WHO: Who are the claims-makers? o WHAT: What claims are they making? o WHEN/WHERE: What is the socio-historical context? o HOW: What strategies are they using to press their claims? o OUTCOME: Has it worked? Is it working? o EX=Legalization of pot • What does your textbook say about self-help movements? • Do daytime medical talk shows, medical television dramas, etc., Web MD, contribute at all to the self-help movement? o The New Yorker wrote an article (Spector, 02/04/13) asking about Dr. Oz “Is the most trusted doctor in America doing more harm than good?”  The Self: • Recall our discussion last week about stigma • Stigma surrounding mental illness did not exist and does still exist in society today Fox 3 Lecture 14
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