Madness and Society

Course code SOCA3370Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

A comparative examination of social conceptions of, and responses to, madness, across cultures and historically. The course is oriented to the sociological and anthropological idea that the concept 'mental illness' is itself fairly recent in Western history, and many other societies do not share it. We will contextualise the idea of madness relative to myth, history, science, religion and culture.

Available in 2014

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
OurimbahSemester 1
Previously offered in 2009
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

1. An understanding of sociological and anthropological theories of non-normal behaviour across cultures.
2. The ability to critically analyze theoretical and empirical contributions to the understanding of the place of madness in society.
3. The ability to apply relevant analytic models to contemporary issues.
4. Competence in scholarship, essay construction and academic argument appropriate to graduation at Bachelor level.
Content* A critical historical examination of the conception, interpretation of, and reaction to madness in Western society from classical times to the present.
* An examination of madness in some 'traditional' (non-western) societies, in the context of social relations and local cosmology.
* An examination of the impact of Western psychiatric conceptions of madness on some non-western societies.
Replacing Course(s)SOCA3172 Kinship and Social Organization
TransitionNot Applicable
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge40 units of study at 1000 level.
Modes of DeliveryFlexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsSeminar
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsEssay, 2000 words 50%
Other: (please specify)Blackboard online tests 30%
Presentations - Class20%
Contact HoursSeminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 weeks
Timetables2014 Course Timetables for SOCA3370