Marxism, social psychology, and the sociology of mental health.

International Journal of Health Services (Impact Factor: 0.99). 02/1984; 14(2):237-64. DOI: 10.2190/H82D-NBGF-3EYH-3AFY
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The political activism of the 1960s brought with it activism in the mental health field, broadly defined as antipsychiatry. Included in this social phenomenon are R.D. Laing and his colleagues, mental patients' rights activists, movements against psycho-technological abuses such as psychosurgery, Marxist and radical critiques of mainstream psychiatric practices, and feminist therapy. Some aspects of this broad movement have been influenced or even directed by Marxist perspectives. When Marxist influences have not predominated, antipsychiatric points of view still have much affinity with Marxism. This broad-based criticism of mental health practices and ideologies not only influences the mental health field, but also affects general Marxist social theory, adding to traditional Marxism a concern with feminist issues and the politics of personal and family life. This article explores the progress made by these antipsychiatric perspectives, and examines their limitations as well. Four schools of thought in Marxist psychology--Freudo-Marxism, orthodox-economist Marxism, see Marxist medical model, and "ideology-critique"--are explored to see how they can contribute to the further production of Marxist psychological theory and practice.

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