Current Themes in Psychiatry 2 by Raghu N. Gaind, Barbara L. Hudson

By Raghu N. Gaind, Barbara L. Hudson

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1974) demonstrated that the various disabilities shown by a group of discharged chronic psychotics when observed by their families at home bore little relation to the behaviours observed by the nurses in a day centre which they attended; home behaviour therefore could not be inferred from that displayed at the day centre. Such examples could be multiplied, but distinctions of this degree of detail clearly imply that statements about rehabilitation need to be made with some precision. It so happens that these are investigations by psychiatrists, but some important studies of psychiatric rehabilitation have also been written by social workers.

Sociol. , 2, 37-41 Mechanic, D. and Volkart, E. H. (1961). Stress, illness behaviour and the sick role. Am. sociol. , 26, 51-58 Parsons, T. (1951). The Social System. Free Press, Chicago Plog, S. G. and Edgerton, R. B. (1969). Changing Perspectives ln Mentallllness. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Eastbourne Ruesch, J. (1965). Social psychiatry: an overview. Archs gen. , 12, 501-509 Sarbin, T. (1969). The scientific status of the mental illness metaphor. Changing Perspectives In Menta/Illness (Ed. S.

Labelling theory, or societal reaction theory shifts attention away from the individual attributes of the deviant and focuses on the societal reaction to those attributes. In this theory, deviance-or for our purposes, mental illness-is not seen as a physical defect of the so-called mentally ill patient, but as the outcome of a social process which involves conflicting values, labelling of the deviant and societal reactions or expectations. In Howard Becker's terms 'deviance is not a quality of the act a person commits, but rather the consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an "offender" ' (Becker, 1963).

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