Soc 2D06 Jan 29
Social Psychology of Social Deviance recap and the Social Psychology of
Joy Riding Video
Wade. (2013) “Two 7yearold boys, two dramatically different news stories (VIDEO).”
Japanese Internment Camps
Available on Youtube “Japanese Internment during WW 2”
McGleish, C (2011)
Social Psychology of Mental health
Not that long ago, mental health was only talked about in discussions of the sociology of
Negative label and stigma
“Sociology of nuts, sluts, and perverts” (Liazos, 1972)
Badness to sickness/illness (Conrad and Schneider, 1980)
Social psychology of mental health: Symbolic Interactionism/Social Constructionism
Who and what problems are defined as mental illness or health?
How can we/do we define mental illness?
Acknowledge the changing meanings, definitions and constructions of mental
health and illness over time historically, cultural, and social
Foucault (1965) was one of the first scholars to study historical constructions of mental
illness (Rohall et al, 2014)
Social Psychology of Mental Health
3 paradigms in the history of mental illness and health (Conrad and Schneider, 1992)
Sin Paradigm (17 Century)
Role of the church
Crime Paradigm (Late 17 18 century)
Secularization: move to criminalization
Disease Paradigm (19 Century)
Medicalization: identifying and treating disease, illness of healthrelated
Movement towards “medicalization”
Deviance, social problems, illnesses, etc., can be identified, treated (and labeled),
controlled/managed by the medical field (Conrad and Schneider, 1980)
Medicalization involves power
Power to define, label and control what is seen as mental illness or health, and
“appropriate” ways to deal or treat it 3 assumptions of the medical model
In this case, medical/biological; something within the individual
Labeling of the problem
Treatment or management
Because this is rooted in social construction, what conditions, issues, symptoms,
behaviours, etc. are labeled or medicalized can change over time
Can you think of any examples?
Conrad notes THREE important trends in medicalization
1) the power and authority of the medical profession”
Decisionmaking power to define what is or is not mental illness or health
and label it as such
2) Activities of social movements and interest groups
Creation of support groups, movements or organizations that want to
“medicalize an issue”
3) Directed organizational or professional activities
Policies, guidelines (i.e., DSM) or defining and labeling of diseases,
treatments, protocols, etc.,
Therefore, medicaliation of mental illness and illness operates like the process of claims
Who? Who are the claimmakers?
What? What claims are they making?
When/where? What is the sociohistorical context?
How? What strategies are they using to press their claims?
Outcome? Has it worked? Is it working?
What does you textbook say about selfhelp movements?
Do daytime medical shows, medical television dramas, etc., WebMD, contribute at all to
the selfhelp movement?