MSL READING FOR FINAL-#19- CRIME AND DEVIANCE - Summarized and easy to understand

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Chapter 19- MSL ON BEING SANE IN INSANE PLACES DAVID L. ROSENHAN Deviance is the recognized violation of social norms; whether a person is labeled deviant depends on how others perceive, define, and respond to that persons behavior. Rosenhan explores the social deviance of mental illness and the consequences of labeling people sane or insane. Our notions of normality and abnormality may not be quite as accurate as people believe they are There is a great deal of conflicting data on the reliability, utility and meaning of such terms as sanity, insanity, mental illness, and schizophrenia. Benedict (1934) suggested that normality and abnormality are not universal; what is viewed as normal in one culture may be seen as quite abnormal in another Normality and abnormality, sanity and insanity, and the diagnoses that flow from them may be less practical than many believe them to be (questioning normalityabnormality does not question the fact that some behaviors are deviant or odd; ex. murder, hallucinations, nor does it deny the existence of psychological suffering) To distinguish the sane from the insane (along with distinguishing degrees of insanity): Do the prominent characteristics that lead to diagnoses reside in the patients themselves or in the environments and contexts in which observers find them? (dispositional vs. situational) From Bleuler, to Kretchmer, through the formulation of the revised DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) of the APAbelief has been strong that patients present symptoms and those symptoms can be categorized and implicitly, the sane are distinguishable from the insane This belief has been questioned, psychiatric diagnoses are in the minds of the observers and are not valid reviews of characteristics displayed by the observed Questioning the modes of psychiatric diagnosis: Getting normal people, persons who have never suffered symptoms of serious psychiatric disorders (pseudopatients) admitted to psychiatric hospitals and determining whether they were discovered to be sane and if so, how. If the sanity of such pseudopatients were always discovered, there would be prima facie evidence (obvious evidence) that a sane person can be distinguished from the insane context where heshe is found. If the sanity of such pseudopatients were never discovered, serious difficulties would arise for those who support traditional modes of psychiatric diagnosis
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