Psychiatric Hegemony

A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness

  • Bruce M. Z. Cohen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 97-111
  3. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 113-138
  4. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 139-168
  5. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 169-204
  6. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 205-212
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 213-241

About this book


This book offers a comprehensive Marxist critique of the business of mental health, demonstrating how the prerogatives of neoliberal capitalism for productive, self-governing citizens have allowed the discourse on mental illness to expand beyond the psychiatric institution into many previously untouched areas of public and private life including the home, school and the workplace. Through historical and contemporary analysis of psy-professional knowledge-claims and practices, Bruce Cohen shows how the extension of psychiatric authority can only be fully comprehended through the systematic theorising of power relations within capitalist society. From schizophrenia and hysteria to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, from spinning chairs and lobotomies to shock treatment and antidepressants, from the incarceration of working class women in the nineteenth century to the torture of prisoners of the ‘war on terror’ in the twenty-first, Psychiatric Hegemony is an uncompromising account of mental health ideology in neoliberal society.


clinical psychology hegemony Marx Marxism medicine political science political theory politics psychiatry psychology psychopathology social science social structure sociology

Authors and affiliations

  • Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Bibliographic information