on August 25, 2000
I read this book for a course on the sociology of deviance, andfound it a valuable resource. It traces the historical developement of deviant 'sicknesses' such as opiate addictions, mental illness, homosexuality, and attention deficit disorder. The book examines how these forms of deviance were understood historically, and how they came they came to be understood as forms of 'sickness.' Conrad and Schneider examine medical model of understanding deviance, which is currently standard, from a removed and critical perspective. In the forward (of my edition) Joseph Gusfield puts it thusly, "They treat the medical model as something strange, not as something that is 'taken for granted' as 'normal.' When a body a body of thought or phenomemon is taken as problematic, as something to be explained, its naturalness, its claim to 'reality,' is called to account." This book does an excellent job at calling the claims of the medical model into account. This book offers new perspectives on hot-topics, is well organized, and is extremely well-researched. I would warn people that it is dense reading, and some people may find it hard to get through. I would especially recommend this book to any who would form a stance on any of the following issues: drug use/abuse, mental illness, juvenile delinquency, homosexuality, and medicine as a means of social control.
on March 22, 2012
I love learning. And with this text, a LOT of learning occurred (in my class, Sociology of Deviance, at an esteemed public university. I'm stil learning from it. I am especially glad that this text is available on all the e-devices, too.
P.S. This book helped me work through a major depressive episode - it brought on a personal revelation, if you will. I just hope that it serves you well, too :).