By Ewen Speed, Joanna Moncrieff, Mark Rapley (eds.)
This ebook extends the serious scope of the former quantity, De-Medicalizing distress, right into a wider social and political context, constructing the critique of the psychiatrization of Western society. It explores the modern psychological future health panorama and poses attainable substitute recommendations to the continued problems with emotional distress.
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Extra info for De-Medicalizing Misery II: Society, Politics and the Mental Health Industry
According to this theory, the experience of racism and oppression permanently damages the psyches of the victim, consigning them to a permanent state of low self-esteem. Gradually, the diagnosis that some experiences are damaging to the psyche and result in the lowering of self-esteem of certain groups has expanded beyond the confines of racism and oppression. Communities that are blighted by poverty and unemployment are often portrayed as suffering from a self-esteem deficit. President Bush’s welfare-to-work partnership was designed to lead to ‘more independence, more self-esteem, and more joy and hope’ (Bush, 2002).
From this perspective the experience of exclusion above all refers to the sense of humiliation and shame that comes from not being recognized and affirmed. Thus, the focus of Honneth’s concern is the psychological damage inflicted on people by a society that fails to encourage the development of their self-confidence, selfrespect and self-esteem. ‘The experience of being socially denigrated or humiliated endangers the identity of human beings, just as infection with disease endangers their physical life’ (Honneth, 1995: 135).
Fraser (2000: 112) points to the tendency for recognition politics to reify identity and fear that it encourages ‘separatism, intolerance and chauvinism’. Experience has shown that such apprehensions are fully justified – the demand for recognition can never be entirely satisfied and each demand is a prelude to the next. Identities based on misrecognition become entrenched in the perpetuation of their condition of suffering. As Brown (1995: 73) argues, ‘politicized identity’ becomes ‘attached to its own exclusion because ‘it is premised on this exclusion for its very existence as identity’.