Erving Goffman's Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates is a key text in the sociology of mental illness. It is sometimes seen simplistically as a paradigm of ‘antipsychiatry’, and as a key step in the triumph of community psychiatry over narrower, medical models of mental illness. Reading Asylums today, however, reveals that this portrayal does not capture the richness of the text. My argument is that, rather than being an opponent of biological psychiatry or medical models per se, Goffman's key role was in humanising patients and drawing attention to the patterns of interaction that dehumanised them.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed