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Lecture 16

SOC483Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Medicalization, Mary Douglas

Course Code
Vanina Leschziner

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SOC483Y1 Lecture 16 Feb 8, 2012
- Rick Mayes and Allan Horwitz, DSM-III and the Revolution in the Classification of
Mental Illness,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 41 (2005): 249-267.
- Karen Cerulo, “Institutionalizing Right, Wrong, and Undecided,” chapter 4 in
Deciphering Violence (Routledge, 1998), pp. 77-110.
Order related to Mary Douglas, Levi-Strauss (classification system) and Geertz (first order)
Equate to Swidler- showing same tool kit method- believes she may thus assert invoking
certain cultural tools- invoked in settled environments why in settled times though?
Wuthnow piggy back determined by society’s moral order – moral stability and
dominating traditional tools
Problems with both models though when we use Cerulo
Swidler’s falls apart when war times – conventional sequence still follow
Wuthnow fall into problems when morality divided
Where do they break with tradition? when unsettled and morally inconsistent when
traditional narrative may be broken
- Only meaningful with individual analysis- micro
- Psychological disorder- failure to adapt
- Everyone has mental illness (neurotic) to major psychotic
- Illnesses not discrete
- Each symptom connected to deep psychological process
Problems overly scientific and over ambitious some issues with past DSM
- So DSM’s are concerned with classification orders
- Symptom based model let pharmaceuticals target certain illnesses
These readings let us revisit past readings
Institutional organization controlling on people with memos etc. confining cultural
- Reason these two together because 2 contemporary sociologists working from
different perspectives to give sense of the work that can be done in terms of ideas
that can be used for own papers
- Different subject matters and approaches
- Both are professors at Rutgers = where many right about cognition
- Both readings deal with institutions, classifications how we classify phenomenon
within the context of institutions so of course we see constraints of institutions
- What we see is certainly constraining institutions
- *institutions constrain due to pressures, we need to respond to those pressures
- (good for homesickness, professor exerting pressure on language efficiency)
This will be good for answering talk of love by Swidler- which may help in the way we
understand tool kits it one dichotomy that dichotomy between the individual (cultural
cognition- psychological individual cultural cognition) sold response is that it is hard to
separate them as it is that one has stuff on their mind alone from their own while some that
are products of social structure (universal) in terms of how brains work
- A lot of our cognitive make up especially what we are concerned with is cultural
and shared! cognitive schema vs. cultural schema- interdependent happenings
- Individual yet may be responding to institutions SWIDLER TALKS ABOUT THIS
- What is more personal or intimate than love romantic relationships a lot of the
schema people use to grapple with relationships (those interviewed are at a
different stage) are responding in ways to institutions, they will use different
narratives depending on the context, so model of Hollywood romantic relationship
to be drawn on to envision future romantic relationships vs. pastors or priest with
very different narrative to explain nature of love vs. counsellor influenced love
whether to stay with partner or break up
= these are all institutions that introduce pressures, constraints and different tools
for people to draw on and decide if person is for them or if they should leave
- Some institutions are more formal than others- ex. Journalistic field, psychiatry,
sociology student- easier to see patterns of schema in these institutions!
- Some may be conscious of writing formal sociology papers like in the way it is
generic vs. unconscious just do find code to determine conscious or unconscious
- More informal: counselling, Hollywood where we may pick up cues in a more
random way as it were and not within occupation it is harder to track down what
people are doing
- Goals are pressures- like getting a job, PhD, famous
- Those kinds of institutions which we interact with in our minds put constrains and
pressures on what we do we get some of our tools, narrative, ideas, schema, from
those institutions but we are also constrained by them
- For Swidler not totally unconscious or conscious some may be more strategic than
- Institutions as rational is not really true- while some say individual irrational this
is not really true either institutions are made by individuals in so far we are
somewhat unconscious so will institutions
- A lot of the work on institutions that we will read shows preciously that instituions
are unconscious and that a lot of what people do (Cerulo more than the other shows
this) that people in institutions do not know why they are doing it but institutions
go by inertia ex. Type of titles in sociology people just end up doing it
- Question regarding the American girls in the US who are suffering from the
mystery disease where they are experiencing ticks
- Isomorphic pressures neo- you mimic people if it work for them then it works
for me sometimes strategic sometimes not doing things repeatedly (habitus) they
eventually become unconscious- set narrative- so when you do it so much you
eventually do not realize you are doing it so much which is in the idea of habitus and
“Embodied knowledge” – in the beginning you may be conscious but over time not
so much
- Horowitz does not ask if individuals are better severed by new DSM rather the
question regarded the drastic change from previous DSM’s – what drove that
change? Is the question- interest in the production and creation of the manual, not
in curing or making people happier
- It is not about elites or elites dominating institutions but there were people with
different interests involved that led the change so institutions are people by people,
they are people just because we do not see names, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t
ways of thinking enacted by actual people
Are institutions constraining for tool kits?
- All of these people, Cerulo, Horowitz, Swidler = YES they are constraining when
institutions are formal it is easier to see, some more constraining than others
- Either macro of micro level we can still see the toolkits coming from institutions
Swidler says this explicitly
- Narratives of journalists are they constraining or are they agreed upon
- The narratives are indeed constraining, people are not aware does not mean
anything, they are constraining because people are all following them
Focus on main contributions of the 2 pieces