They may have problems arising within themselves as a result of their psychiatric and alcohol and other drug AOD use disorders as well as problems of external origin that derive from the conflicts, limitations, and clashing philosophies of the mental health and addiction treatment systems. For example, internal problems such as frustration, denial, or depression may hinder their ability to recognize the need for help and diminish their ability to ask for help.
The social causes of mental illness have included disadvantaged social statuses and stress.
Social stress theory became prominent in the s and continues to guide many sociological studies. This perspective asserts that mental health problems are caused by exposure to social stress based on social statuses and earlier life experiencesas well as vulnerability to stress a limited ability to cope because of low levels of social support, self-esteem, or mastery.
Research on disadvantaged socioeconomic status and mental illness emerged in the late s. In the mids, sex-role theory stimulated controversy about the prevalence rates and explanations for why females are more likely to have internalized mental disorders e. This debate about gender differences in mental illness was revisited recently with national and cross-national data.
Since the early s, life course theory has informed research on the influence of age on mental health. Since the s, the negative social consequences of being diagnosed with a mental illness have continued to be addressed by sociological theories about labeling and stigma.
Sociologists have also critically examined the organization of mental health care, treatment utilization, and public policies. Another important contribution of sociologists is medicalization theory, which elucidates the social Mental illness and social theory of mental illnesses with an examination of how deviant thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have been transformed into symptoms to be treated medically.
More recently, a debate erupted among sociologists about how to measure mental health and illness. Overall, the readings here show the development of research and theories in the sociology of mental illness by highlighting groundbreaking studies and controversies. In contrast to the biological perspective, which targets genetics and a chemical imbalance in the brain as the causes of mental illness, the sociological perspective emphasizes the influence of society via social contexts, relationships, roles, and statuses.
General Overviews A number of works provide general overviews of the main issues in the sociology of mental health and illness. Aneshensel and Phelanan edited handbook, is one of the first comprehensive overviews of the sociological literature on mental health, which is very useful for graduate students.
The main premise is that mental disorder is not equally dispersed throughout society, but occurs more often within socially disadvantaged groups. Scheid and Brown provides overviews and updates our knowledge about the relationship between society and mental illness, which is also ideal for graduate students.
For undergraduate classes on the sociology of mental illness, several excellent textbooks have been popular.
For example, Cockerham has concise chapters that introduce students to the influence of social factors on mental illness, the utilization of mental health treatment, treatment options, and both legal and policy issues. Gallagher offers chapters that briefly highlight historical and environmental perspectives on different types of mental illnesses.
Rogers and Pilgriman undergraduate textbook, draws upon various social theories to understand mental illness and provides a critical perspective of the mental health profession. McLeod and Wright offers a collection of key research articles to guide graduate and undergraduate students through the controversies in this field.
Finally, Avison, et al. Handbook of the sociology of mental health. McLeod, and Bernice A. Mental health, social mirror. Prominent sociologists discuss not only the theoretical genesis of this field, but also the social origins and responses to mental illness.
Sociology of mental disorder.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: The sociology of mental illness. Many important topics are addressed, such as cross-cultural definitions of mental illness, social stress theory, types of mental disorders, the social epidemiology of mental illness, and becoming a patient in a psychiatric hospital and being an ex-patient.
The sociology of mental illness: Rogers, Anne, and David Pilgrim.Therefore the aims of this essay are to firstly examine the problems of the psychiatric approach and how social theory has provided a useful evaluation of how mental illness, rather than existing as real and observable illnesses which psychiatrists must find and treat, could actually be .
Social learning theory combines cognitive learning theory (which posits that learning is influenced by psychological factors) and behavioral learning theory (which assumes that learning is based. Focusing on the case of mental illness but drawing from theories and studies of stigma across the social sciences, we propose a framework that brings together theoretical insights from micro, meso and macro level research: Framework Integrating Normative Influences on Stigma (FINIS) starts with Goffman’s notion that understanding stigma.
Keywords: Modernity, mental illness, mental health, and sociological theories Introduction Conceived as the absence of conformity to social norms and values, mental illness is on the rise in the United. meta-model: factors in numerous risks (events, situations, characteristics that lead you towards mental illness) and protective factors (leads you away from mental illness); so if have more risks than protective factors, more likely to get a mental illness.
Mental illness, as the eminent historian of psychiatry Michael MacDonald once aptly remarked, “is the most solitary of afflictions to the people who experience it; but it is the most social of maladies to those who observe its effects” (MacDonald 1).