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Wk. 8 - Madness, Punked, Wired Readings - Notes+Qns.doc

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Disability Studies
DST 500
Jijian Voronka

DST500 – Readings – Week 8 March 11, 2013 Voronka, J. (2009). “Making Bipolar Britney: Proliferating psychiatric diagnoses through tabloid media.” Radical Psychology, Vol. 7(2) - How popular magazines teach the public ‘proper’ ways to approach, treat, comply, struggle, and recover from mental illness - Her journey, and the documentation of it by the media, can tell us a lot about how the intersectionalities of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability play out in popular culture - The mad movement embraces different ways of thinking and being, and places particular emphasis on the problematic ways that psychiatry and other psy discourses in particular, and social/medical systems in general, work to hinder mad peoples’ social inclusion - The failure for her to reshape her body into pre-pregnancy form in the months following her second birth came to be understood as a problem in the press - Celebrities and Hollywood given credit for teenagers seeking help with mental issues – stigma is reduced Question #1 – How were Britney Spears’ behaviours as taken up by the tabloid presses used to reinforce biomedical understandings of ‘mental illness’? - Prior to her initial institutionalization, a hostile press continued to prey on Britney for her bad girl misdeeds - But once reconceptualized as ‘mad’, the press refocused from hostility to concern – misbehavior was reinterpreted as signs of symptomology - Psy professionals find themselves caught up within a culture of blame, in which almost any unfortunate event becomes a tragedy which could have been avoided and for which some authority is to be held culpable - This culpability amplifies the demand that psy professionals police their clients - In turn, psy discourses place increasing emphasis on demanding that mad people police themselves through self-monitoring and self-regulation - The following threads work towards dispersing dominant biomedical models for understanding mental illness: o The ways in which psychiatric expertise has been brought into the tabloid press to explain and promote certain psychiatric models for
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