In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Sociology and Concepts of Mental Illness Gillian Bendelow bio Differing sociological perspectives of mental health and illness can be linked to theoretical contributions from Durkheim, Weber, Freud, Foucault, and Marx social causation, labeling theory, critical theory, social constructivism, and social realism, respectively but sociology in general, and medical sociology in particular, has often been accused of neglecting the field of mental health and illness. Certainly, as a discipline, it is unable to provide an overarching explanatory framework; rather, as Pilgrim and Rogers describe, "'sedimented layers of knowledge which overlap unevenly in time and across disciplinary boundaries and professional preoccupations" In collaboration with sociologists of science, there is a strong tradition of challenging DSM and other psychiatric classifications to examine the social and political shaping of categories of mental disorder, including how they disappear and reappear Brown ; Manning
Medical sociologists use social constructionist theory to interpret the social experience of illness.
Social constructionism holds that individuals and groups produce their own conceptions of reality, and that knowledge itself is the product of social dynamics. There is a distinction between the medical notion of disease and the social constructionist concept of illness. For the medical profession, disease is a biological condition, universal and unchanging; social constructionists define illness as the social meaning of that condition.
The authors consider socially stigmatized and contested illnesses, drawing a distinction between impairment and disability. In social constructionist theory, impairment refers to a physical illness or injury; disability is the social experience of impairment.
For example, deafness can be a cultural identity that supplants individual identity. Medicalization—the act of reducing illness to strictly a medical definition—ignores the social context of disease. This essay analyzes topics in medical sociology using social constructionist theory.
The authors explore the cultural meaning of illness, discuss how individuals experience illness, and critique the foundations of medical knowledge.need of health care and social services” (Albrecht et al., ; Bird et al., ).
Since communities‟ perception on health and illness varies from culture to culture sociologists have given various theories and approaches to study about health and illness over the period of time using longitudinal studies.
Start studying Defining health and illness- the social construction of disease.. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Apr 28, · In reality though, ideas about health and illness are always social constructions.
While science is a major contributor, society’s nonscientific beliefs regarding anything from health and illness to morality have an enormous impact on the development of diseases. This proved to be a lasting and rewarding relationship for both sides and, as Director of the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Wellbeing (CISHeW), he instigated a highly successful programme of research, addressing community health and well-being, based on principles of social action, collaborative research and social justice.
The social construction of illness is a major research perspective in medical sociology.
This article traces the roots of this perspective and presents three overarching constructionist findings. Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist View on Social Constructionism Bruce M.
Z. Cohen Abstract With the recent proliferation of categories of mental illness and an increasing acceptance within western society of such categories as evidence of real disease, this chapter is a timely reminder of the social constructionist challenge to the existence of mental illness, and thus the validity of.