2017-2018 Catalog

SOC 385 Sociology of Mental Illness

Psychology and psychiatry identify the causes of sadness, madness, anxiety, and trouble (SMAT) as originating within the "mind" or, increasingly, the brain.  The sociology of mental illness, by contrast, focuses on processes in the social and cultural context, and argues that social structure, relationships, and culture are significant factors in the genesis of SMAT.  The sociology of mental illness is also concerned with how the very concepts of mental illness, abnormal or crazy are constructed and used.  The second half of the course focuses on the response to SMAT:  how family, friends, troubled persons, and professionals interpret, define, and respond to SMAT, and the processes shaping the policies and practices of the mental health enterprise.


4 units


SOC 101