Aetiology and Historical Sociogenesis of Psychiatric Illnesses

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:00 PM
Room: 422
Oral Presentation
Pia RINGOE , Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Aetiology and historical sociogenesis of psychiatric illnesses

Pia Ringø Cand.Scient.Soc – PhD Aalborg University, Denmark - Email: ringoe@socsci.aau.dk


The social hegemonization of the biomedical perspective in the beginning of the 21st century has been heavily criticized. But as pointed out by Kuhn (1962), criticism alone has never brought about major paradigm shifts (Kuhn 1962). Paradigm changes require a realistic, viable, research able alternative - a paradigm candidate, as Brante phrases it (2005). Therefore, one obvious question is, what the most feasible alternative to the existing neuropsychiatric modes of explanation is, and what challenges must be faced in trying to establish a viable and qualified alternative.

The dominance of certain forms of knowledge does not exist within an institutional and societal vacuum. It is produced and reproduced through political, managerial and economic discourses, institutional solutions and organizations, which should be taken into account to gain a complex understanding of the current scientific character and transformation of our knowledge, understanding and treatment of mental and social problems or social pathologies in contemporary society. Using concrete examples, I attend to focus on the close connection between the current debate about mental ailments and the treatment hereof and political ideologies and goals. Thus, the purpose is to inspire reflection on the way in which managerial forms enable the emergence of certain ‘problem definitions’, which in turn influence the scientific character, transformation, understanding and practice of psychiatry, at this time in history.

Keywords: Social and technological movements, aetiology, sociogenesis, psycho-educative practice and the practice of diagnostics