Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018
SOC 345 Sociology of Mental Illness
4 hours; 4 credits
An examination of the sociological dimensions of mental illness. The foundation of this course is to critically analyze the social, cultural and historical constructions of the concept of "mental illness," paying particular attention to the ways in which both disordered and normal patterns of thinking are medicalized. Some of the questions we will ask include: What is mental illness? How does social stratification along lines of race, class and gender affect who gets labeled as mentally ill and how they are treated? What is the history of modern psychiatry? How has industry affected the rise in diagnoses of mental illness? What is the relationship between prisons and mental institutions? How is psychiatric treatment used as a form of social control? What are alternative ways of thinking about mental illness?
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