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Week Five Assignment: Sociology and Mental Health

Purpose:

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The sociology of mental health examines our approach to diagnosing and treating mental illnesses as extensions of culture and social structure. To supplement medically-based neurological explanations for our emotional experiences, sociologists account for these social conditions in determining the existence of mental illnesses. The below assignment asks you to adopt the sociological perspective in your analysis of mental health in society.

Instructions:

Write an 8-10 page paper (not including the title and reference pages) that addresses these four areas:

  1. Giving specific reference to our reading material for the week, define in your own words the sociological viewpoint toward mental health in society.
  2. Based upon your own independent research, cite at least three separate journal articles that are no more than five years old that demonstrate the difference between a sociological viewpoint toward mental health and a strictly clinical viewpoint.
  3. In offering a critique of the clinical viewpoint toward mental health, please explain the rise and impact of the United States’ pharmaceutical industry. For example, has this industry influenced the rates of mental health diagnoses and treatment? Has it helped shape whether or not we think our emotional distress might necessitate psychiatric treatment?
  4. Provide at least three important examples in which the “feeling rules” for women and men are different. Next, explain how differences in these feeling rules may result in a mental illness diagnosis for one gender but not the other. Be sure to cite your sources to validate your arguments. The sources should be more than five years old.
  5. Evaluate whether or not the increase in psychiatric medications is beneficial, neutral, or detrimental to society. Please ground this evaluation from a sociological perspective. Be sure to cite at least one source no more than five years old to validate your argument.  

General requirements:

  • Submissions should be typed, double-spaced, 1″ margins, times new roman 12 pt font, and saved as .doc, .docx, .pdf.
  •  Include subheadings to identify each section. 

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