DST 500 Chapter Notes -Institutional Racism, Schizophrenia, Medical Model
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DST500 – Week 5 – Feb 11, 2013
Reading notes & Questions
Intersectionality -- Some isms and a phobia
Fernando, S. (2012). Race and culture issues in mental health and some thoughts on ethnic identity.
Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 25:2, 113-123.
Q. #1 Fernando identifies the difference between individual acts of racism, and institutional
racisms. Find the definition of institutional racism in the article and think through the different
ways in which individual and institutional racisms work.
The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service
to people because of their color, culture, or ethnic origin
It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behavior which amount to
discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist
stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people
*brainstorm ways in which individual and institutional racisms work*
Q. #2 Fernando notes that 2 main issues in current mental health practice are: 1) the over-
representation of Blacks being diagnosed as schizophrenic; 2) the over-representation of Blacks
being compulsorily detained and medicated. What 3 research solutions does he propose to help
address this issue?
We must take on board a critical view of the basic model of ‘illness’ itself, especially the
nature of diagnosis
The medical framework takes on a narrow view of what ‘illness’ means
If we are looking for research as a way forward, we should look to incorporating:
o Transcultural theories about illness and health
o A ‘critical approach’ to psychiatry and western psychology
o Evidence derived from experiences of people who use the mental health services
Yellow wallpaper – just study the slides from Danielle’s powerpoint presentation on the yellow
wallpaper, which are posted on blackboard.
Vivid account of the mental breakdown of a young mother
First published in 1892 in The New England Magazine
Written as a series of first person, secret journal entries by a woman who is confined to the
upstairs bedroom of a house
Her husband, a physician, has prescribed the “rest cure” which forbids her from
The reader follows her descent into madness as she becomes obsessed with the wallpaper
in the bedroom
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