Madness and Society

Description

A comparative examination of social conceptions of, and responses to, madness; across cultures and history. The course is oriented to the sociological and anthropological idea that the concept of '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.

Availability

Callaghan Campus

  • Semester 1 - 2015

Ourimbah

  • Semester 1 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. An understanding of sociological and anthropological theories of non-normal behaviour across cultures.

2. The ability to critically analyse 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.

Assumed Knowledge

40 units of study at 1000 level.

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Essays/Written Assignments

Online Learning Activity: Online Assessments

Presentation: Class Presentation & Poster

Contact Hours

Seminar

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks