Medical Sociology and Its Relationship to Other Disciplines: The Case of Mental Health and the Ambivalent Relationship Between Sociology and Psychiatry

  • Anne Rogers
  • David Pilgrim
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Within the subfield of the sociology of health and illness, mental health is a well-established and major area of sociological inquiry and interest. This prominent interest has necessarily brought sociologists into contact with other disciplines concerned with research and practice in the area of mental illness. The most notable of these has been the discipline of psychiatry. As Norman Elias noted nearly 40 years ago, this relationship necessarily involves difference and tensions because whilst sociology and psychiatry are both dealing with human behaviour, their explanatory frameworks are different and each needs to protect their professional and theoretical autonomy (Elias 1969).


Mental Health Mental Disorder Mental Illness Mental Health Problem Royal College 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterEngland

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