Not the Usual (Feminist) Suspects

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1998, Vol 43(11), 766-767. To find a British sociologist theorizing and citing the background for a theory on gender differences in mental illness provides a refreshing alternative perspective. The first half of this book (see record 1996-98014-000) develops a perspective on mental illness from a sociological analysis that posits that gender is a key factor of social relations and becomes a major dimension of social differences that lead to features in the construction of mental disorder. The author relies heavily on theories of social deviancy. This is a very selective approach to looking at gender and mental illness, with a goal of trying to investigate whether women have more mental illness than men. My concern is that the author builds a case for the existence of differential diagnoses and treatment of women and men that has already been built and recognized in the US by psychologists. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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