DSM V, a Sociological View

Monday, July 14, 2014: 5:30 PM
Room: 422
Oral Presentation
Nick MANNING , Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
What does sociology have to say about the DSM? Sociology as a discipline has two approaches to analysing a classification system such as the DSM. Looked at as an object of sociological study, questions and observations are about the way in which this is connected to general patterns of social structure and social action. For example, how do the organisations function that produce and use the DSM ? what are their sources of income and power? how do they change? and how does the DSM function in relation to them? A second sociological approach is to accept the general priorities of a field which is committed to some particular outcome and to try to bring sociological knowledge to bear on its problems. From this point of view, sociology could be used to try to help or improve the process of producing a classification system such as the DSM. Sociological analysis of how the DSM is produced, the way it functions in research and clinical practice and its relation to the nature of knowledge and medical care could all have been incorporated into the way in which the DSM is developed. To my knowledge, this has not happened, and I shall argue that this has resulted in the very substantial failure of the DSM to work. In this paper, I will analyse the nature of the DSM as a classification system and its performance. Secondly I will examine the way in which the DSM became rapidly and widely accepted. Thirdly I will advance some general explanations of the way DSM has been produced and the functions it performs.