This book critiques the use of psychiatric labelling and psychiatric narratives in everyday areas of institutional and social life across the globe. It engages an interpretive sociology, emphasising the medial and individual everyday practices of medicalisation, and their role in establishing and diffusing conceptions of mental (ab)normality. The reconstruction of psychiatric narratives is currently taking place in multiple contexts, many of which are no longer strictly psychiatric. On the one hand, psychiatric narratives now pervade contemporary public discourses and institutions though advertising, news and internet sites. On the other hand, professionals like social workers, teachers, counsellors, disability advisors, lawyers, nurses and/or health insurance staff dealing with psychiatric narratives are becoming servants of the psychiatric discourse within “troubled person’s industries”. Abstract academic categories get turned into concrete aggrieved victims of these categorisations and academic formulas turned into individual narratives. To receive support it seems, one must be labelled. The practice-oriented micro-sociological field with which this volume is concerned has only recently begun to integrate itself into public and academic debates regarding medicalisation and the social role of psychiatry. Discussions on the evolution and expansion of official diagnoses within academia, and society in general, frequently overlook the individualised roles of psychiatric diagnoses and the experiences of those involved and affected by these processes, an oversight which this volume seeks to both highlight and address.
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