By Anne Rogers, David Pilgrim
A former BMA clinical booklet of the yr award winner, this ebook presents a sociological research of significant components of psychological future health and illness.
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Extra info for A sociology of mental health and illness
The clear evidence for the complexities of the intervening variables, together with analysis suggesting that both are implicated makes this an increasingly irrelevant or irresolvable debate. For example, family of origin is a key intervening variable which could mediate either genetic vulnerability (favouring the social selection thesis) or neglect and abuse (favouring the social causation thesis). And of course both might be operating in interaction in the families which eventually produce patients.
Artefact explanations suggest that inequalities are an artefact of the way in which official statistics have been collated (Illsley 1986). By implication the artefact explanation attacks the assumption that health inequalities exist at all and that there is a causal relationship between social conditions and health. However, methods available for validating the existence of class inequalities, using longitudinal census data on health inequalities and linking these to death certification and cancer registration, have confirmed that health inequalities are not likely to be due to statistical bias (Bartley et al.
The other balance evident from perspective to perspective is the type of scepticism or criticism, offered or implied, of the clinical perspectives discussed in the first part of the chapter. With the exception of (naïve) social causationism, sociological perspectives problematize the diagnostic perspective on mental disorder. The force of these arguments can be seen in the continuing debates both within sociology and increasingly from across other disciplines, particularly those who encounter mental distress and interpersonal dysfunction in their everyday work.