A term coined in the 1960s for writers who are highly critical of the ideas and practice of psychiatry . Precisely who is included within this group (which is always theoretically and politically heterogeneous) tends to vary. Frequently mentioned are the radical libertarian Thomas Szasz, the more left-wing, existentialist-inclined R. D. Laing and his colleague David Cooper, the Italian mental health reformer Franco Basaglia (all psychiatrists), and two sociologists-the symbolic interactionist Erving Goffman and labelling theorist Thomas Scheff. Sometimes Michel Foucault is also cited in this context. All of these writers, from their divergent stances, view madness and mental illness as social constructs, and emphasize the way in which psychiatry functions as an agency of social control , constraining and coercing individuals, especially in institutional contexts.
The work of Szasz is typical. In The Myth of Mental Illness(1961) he forcefully denounces the application of the language of illness to human thought and conduct, regarding it as mystifying processes of social control. Rather, mental illnesses (except for organic disorders) are ‘problems in living’, to be analysed in terms of social rules and role-playing. Numerous subsequent books reaffirm his message, calling for private, contractual psychiatry to replace state coercion.
In the United States and United Kingdom, acceptance of policies of community care largely predated 1960s anti-psychiatry. In Italy, anti-psychiatry was an important influence on the reforming programme that culminated in the radical legislation of 1978, which introduced community care on a national basis.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anti-psychiatry — See also: Biopsychiatry controversy Anti psychiatry refers to a post 1960s configuration of groups and theoretical constructs hostile to most of the fundamental assumptions and practices of psychiatry. Its igniting influences were Michel Foucault …   Wikipedia

  • History of anti-psychiatry — Anti psychiatry is a movement and a diverse set of theories and practices, that challenges and stands in contrast to the fundamental theories and practices of psychiatry. Psychiatry is the field of medicine concerned with diagnosing, treating and …   Wikipedia

  • anti-psychiatrist — anti psychiatry …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Psychiatry — is a medical specialty which exists to study, prevent, and treat mental disorders in humans. Psychiatric assessment typically involves a mental status examination and taking a case history, and psychological tests may be administered. Physical… …   Wikipedia

  • Anti-Œdipus — infobox Book | name = Anti Œdipus title orig = Capitalisme et schizophrénie. L anti Oedipe translator = author = Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari cover artist = country = France language = French series = genre = Philosophy publisher = Les… …   Wikipedia

  • Anti-Psychiatrie — Als Antipsychiatrie werden mehrere politische und soziale Bewegungen bezeichnet, denen eine kritische bis ablehnende Haltung gegenüber der Psychiatrie gemeinsam war. Neben einer romantisch orientierten französischen Antipsychiatrie, welche auf… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anti-Soviet agitation — and propaganda (ASA) (Антисоветская агитация и пропаганда (АСА)) was a criminal offence in Soviet Union. The term was interchangeably used with counterrevolutionary agitation. The latter one was in use after the Russian Revolution and was… …   Wikipedia

  • Anti-communism — For opposition to the Soviet Union, see Anti Sovietism. Part of the series on Communism …   Wikipedia

  • Anti-cult movement — The anti cult movement (abbreviated ACM and sometimes called the countercult movement) is a term used by academics and others to refer to groups and individuals who oppose cults and new religious movements. Sociologists David G. Bromley and Anson …   Wikipedia

  • Anti-dépresseur — Antidépresseur Les antidépresseurs sont des substances chimiques qui corrigent et relèvent l humeur dépressive. Ces thymo analeptiques sont des stimulants psychiques ou psycho analeptiques qui ont une action sur les fonctions thymiques. [1][2]… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.