Madness

An American History of Mental Illness and Its Treatment

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About the Book

“Madness” is, of course, personally experienced, but because of its intimate relationship to the sociocultural context, it is also socially constructed, culturally represented and socially controlled—all of which make it a topic rife for sociological analysis. Using a range of historical and contemporary textual material, this work exercises the sociological imagination to explore some of the most perplexing questions in the history of madness, including why some behaviors, thoughts and emotions are labeled mad while others are not; why they are labeled mad in one historical period and not another; why the label of mad is applied to some types of people and not others; by whom the label is applied, and with what consequences.

About the Author(s)

Mary de Young, a professor of sociology at Grand Valley State University, lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Mary de Young
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 302
Bibliographic Info: tables, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3398-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5746-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
List of Tables      viii
Preface      1

1. What Is Madness?      7
2. The Experience of Madness      33
3. Distracted in the Colonies      53
4. Asylums      78
5. Asylum Patients      125
6. Asylum Therapeutics      171
Conclusion      260

Bibliography      265
Index      287

Book Reviews & Awards

“Erudite, informative…well-written…recommended”—Choice