A sociology of mental health and illness by Anne Rogers, David Pilgrim

By Anne Rogers, David Pilgrim

A former BMA clinical publication of the yr award winner, this booklet offers a sociological research of significant components of psychological healthiness and illness.

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This e-book presents a sociological research of significant components of psychological wellbeing and fitness and illness. Read more...

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While people in all classes have negative experiences, the proportion of these to positive experiences decreases with increasing class position. For instance, Phillips (1968) found no class differences in the reporting of negative experiences. There were, however, significant differences in the presence of positive experiences between high- and low-class respondents. The former were twice as likely as the latter to report feeling excited, proud or interested by an event during the last month than the latter.

Faris (1944) then elaborated this ‘social isolation’ theory of schizophrenia. After the Second World War, Dunham (1957) drew attention to several studies that confirmed the role of social isolation in the aetiology of schizophrenia; there were exceptions, though. Clausen and Kohn (1959) did not find the relationship between isolation and psychosis in the small city of Hagerstown, Maryland. Also, Weinberg (1960), studying the histories of patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, did not find a pattern of social isolation.

In an open letter to the APA it argued that ‘it is time for psychiatry and psychology collaboratively to explore the possibility of developing an alternative approach to the conceptualization of emotional distress’ (Society of Humanistic Psychologists 2011). The letter drew upon the hostile response issued by the British Psychological Society: The putative diagnoses presented in DSM-V are clearly based largely on social norms, with ‘symptoms’ that all rely on subjective judgments, with little confirmatory physical ‘signs’ or evidence of biological causation.

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