Of Others Inside

Of Others Inside: Insanity, Addiction And Belonging in America

Darin Weinberg
Foreword by Bryan S. Turner
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Temple University Press
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  • Book Info
    Of Others Inside
    Book Description:

    There is little doubt among scientists and the general public that homelessness, mental illness, and addiction are inter-related. InOf Others Inside, Darin Weinberg examines how these inter-relations have taken form in the United States. He links the establishment of these connections to the movement of mental health and addiction treatment from redemptive processes to punitive ones and back again, and explores the connection between social welfare, rehabilitation, and the criminal justice system.Seeking to offer a new sociological understanding of the relationship between social exclusion and mental disability,Of Others Insideconsiders the general social conditions of homelessness, poverty, and social marginality in the U.S. Weinberg also explores questions about American perceptions of these conditions, and examines in great detail the social reality of mental disability and drug addiction without reducing people's suffering to simple notions of biological fate or social disorder.

    eISBN: 978-1-59213-405-2
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xviii)
    Bryan S. Turner

    Social science, and specifically sociological, approaches to health and illness have been typically bifurcated around a dichotomy between what, for convenience, we might callnaturalismandsocial constructionism. Naturalistic explanations seek physical causes of healthand illness on the assumption that disease can be effectively controlled or eliminated by targeted medical intervention. This approach historically involved treating the human body as a machine that could be manipulated by medical science without the distractions of such dubious entities as “mind” or “subjectivity.” The spectacular treatment of the infectious diseases of childhood in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century provides the ideal...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  5. 1 Introduction: Beyond Objectivism and Subjectivism in the Sociology of Mental Health
    (pp. 1-14)

    The objective of this book is to advance a novel sociological understanding of the relationship between social exclusion, specifically homelessness, and mental disability. Current research leaves little doubt that homelessness, mental illness, and addiction are empirically linked, but the particular nature of this relationship is anything but settled. In fact, debate in this area has fallen into something of a theoretical stalemate. While clinically oriented studies argue that the rise of homelessness in the eighties was caused primarily by the deinstitutionalization of people with mental illnesses, alcoholism, and rising rates of drug addiction (cf. Baum and Burnes 1993), sociologically oriented...

  6. I A History of Insanities and Addictions Among Marginalized Americans
    • [I Introduction]
      (pp. 15-18)

      The following two chapters describe how particular concepts of insanity and addiction have been incorporated into state-sponsored regimes for the management of homeless, impoverished, and culturally marginalized Americans.¹ The net has been thusly cast for the simple reason that for most of American history, insanities and addictions have been found to afflict poor and culturally marginalized Americans in ways that are systematically different from the ways they have been found to afflict more prosperous Americans. However, they have been found to afflict poor and culturally marginalized Americans in essentially the same ways whether they were currently housed or not housed....

    • 2 Setting the Stage
      (pp. 19-52)

      This chapter is divided into five sections, each of which attends to a different aspect of the early genealogy of my ethnographic research settings. The sections are organized topically but presented in a more or less chronological order. I first describe how insanities and addictions were perceived in colonial North America. I tell how they came to be conceptualized as (a) somatic pathologies, or disease agents, (b) amenable to human influence, and (c) resources for the management of poor and culturally marginalized Americans. In the next section I describe the rise of moral treatment. In particular, I note how this...

    • 3 Addictions and Insanities: Two Fields and Their Phenomena
      (pp. 53-92)

      This chapter is divided into four sections. I first discuss the formation and growth of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the so-called Alcoholism Movement in the modern alcoholism treatment industry. Particular attention is given to how these events came to organize how alcohol addictions are conceptualized (and configured) among impoverished Americans. In the second section I discuss the rise of AA-inspired “social model” approaches to illicit drug addiction among poor Americans, and the increasing commingling of drug and alcohol addiction treatment in publicly sponsored programs. In the third section I speak to the rise of community mental health and biopsychiatry. In...

  7. II A Tale of Two Programs
    • 4 Canyon House
      (pp. 95-143)

      Though Canyon House was certainly a product of the histories outlined in Part I, it was also the site of distinctive patterns of practice that were by no means inevitable effects of those histories. History was, instead, mediated through embodied strategies, artfully articulated by specific people who, for different reasons, found Canyon House a compelling resource. In this chapter I discuss the organization and operation of Canyon House, linking these to the broader events discussed in Part I. More specifically, I describe the program’s local history, its administrative structures, the distinctive logic of therapeutic practice, and finally, when and how...

    • 5 Twilights
      (pp. 144-188)

      Twilights was founded by behavioral scientists at the Rand Corporation to facilitate rigorous comparative research into the costs and benefits of residential and nonresidential care for dually diagnosed homeless adults. Toward that end, Twilights was designed to exactly replicate Canyon House in a nonresidential setting. Canyon House was itself included in the study because it had earned both local and national renown for offering high-quality care to dually diagnosed clients. But before moving further into the details of the research project itself, it will be useful to first briefly consider the broader sociopolitical crucible within which this project was forged....

  8. 6 Conclusion
    (pp. 189-204)

    Ascendant accounts of the genesis of the modern Western self are aligned in suggesting profound transformations in human self-conceptions arising concomitant with the broader social changes that embodied the Enlightenment and the transition to modernity (cf. Elias 1978; Foucault 1970; Sennett 1976; Taylor 1989). Though they differ in their details, these accounts uniformly tell of an unprecedented increase in self-scrutiny, a collective turn inward and eclectic efforts to grasp the newly mysterious essence of personal being beginning in the early eighteenth century. They recount an epochal transition from a period wherein the reality of the self was largely settled (consisting...

  9. References
    (pp. 205-218)
  10. Index
    (pp. 219-226)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 227-227)