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The Politics of Madness

A Theory of Its Function in Stratified Society

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Hope Landrine

The Politics of Madness presents the case that psychiatric disorders maintain the inequalities found in today's stratified societies. Landrine argues that the stereotypes of women, the poor, and minorities affect psychiatric diagnoses, and support this with several shocking, empirical investigations. In one study, clinicians diagnosed descriptions of poor people as schizophrenia; poor black men as antisocial personality disorder; and women as suffering from depression. This scholarly, interdisciplinary work is the first to present hard evidence for the view that psychiatric disorders are political categories that maintain social order.