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Madness Is Civilization: When the Diagnosis Was Social, 1948-1980
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Madness Is Civilization: When the Diagnosis Was Social, 1948-1980

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In the 1960s and 1970s, a popular diagnosis for America’s problems was that society was becoming a madhouse. In this intellectual and cultural history, Michael E. Staub examines a time when many believed insanity was a sane reaction to obscene social conditions, psychiatrists were agents of repression, asylums were gulags for society’s undesirables, and mental illness was

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Hardcover, 264 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Craig Werner
Dec 02, 2015 Craig Werner rated it it was amazing
The core argument of this book will be familiar (at second or third hand) for anyone who's read (or seen) Catch 22, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Manchurian Candidate, The Bell Jar, Go Ask Alice (and who knows how many other books focusing on the question of "who gets to decide who's sane (and insane)"? But Staub performs an invaluable service in grounding that socio-existential question in the practices of psychology and psychiatry in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The central story is the ...more
Liam
Jul 10, 2012 Liam rated it really liked it
Narratives of psychosis: interpersonal dynamics/family relations (Laing); institutional setting (asylums, Goffman); social construct (Szasz); political phenomenon. (7)

"'More precisely, according to the common-sense definition, mental health is the ability to play whatever the game of social living might consist of and to play it well. Conversely, to refuse to play, or to play badly, means that the person is mentally ill.'" (quoting Goffman, 102)

"At times the argument was that true sanity meant r
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