Being Mentally Ill
Publication Date: 1999-12-31
In incorporating social process into a model of the dynamics of mental disorders, Being Mentally Ill questions the individualistic model favored in current psychiatric and psychoanalytic theory. While the conventional psychiatric viewpoint seeks the causes of mental illness, Scheff views "the symptoms of mental illness" as the violation of residual rules—social norms so taken for granted that they are not explicitly verbalized. Throughout the book, the sociological model of mental illness is compared and contrasted with more conventional medical and psychological models in an attempt to delineate significant problems for further analysis and research.