Sociology | Mental Illness
S324 | 3882 | Winnick

S324 Mental Illness (3 CR)
3882 6:30-9:00 M    BH304

Mental Illness is not another course on Abnormal Psychology.
Rather, this course explores the wide range of mental
illnesses--from severe and persistent illnesses such as
schizophrenia to the less debilitating emotional adjustment
disorders--as a social phenomenon.  It looks beyond individual
symptomatology and focuses instead on the mechanisms operating
in the social environment--the structures, institutions, and
relationships that shape and control human behavior--that each,
in their own way, contribute to the perception, and
maintenance, of mental health or illness.

This course tracks the history of mental illness, how it is
shaped and defined by culture, paying particular attention to
the development of the mental health profession and its
knowledge base.  It examines the ways in which mental illness
is distributed along race, class, age and gender lines.  It
calls attention to the ways in which societal organization
influences our beliefs about, and actions toward, those we
consider mentally ill.  As the material in this course can
challenge commonly held assumptions, the ability to think
critically is imperative.

Course evaluation is based upon three multiple choice exams and
one term paper.  Volunteer work options are available for extra