Diagnosing Neoliberal Subjects: A Textual Analysis of the DSM
The presentation will take time to consider the theoretical implications from this case study for understanding the structural forces which may aid or hinder the construction of psychiatric classifications. For example, following the neo-Focauldian argument of Nikolas Rose (1999), psychiatric discourse can be understood as a necessary technology for the management of neoliberal selves. Such a view suggests that the recent DSM additions of Social Anxiety Disorder, Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Hoarding Disorder reflect contemporary social problems and popular anxieties surrounding patterns of work, consumption, the family, and leisure. Utilizing a more traditional Marxist analysis, however, it could be argued that the reinforcement of neoliberal ideology identified within the DSM may instead suggest the increasing hegemonic role played by the institution of psychiatry in medicalizing social and economic problems within capitalist society.