Special Topics- Asylums, Madness, and Mental Illness

This course uses the rise and fall of the asylum movement to examine shifting ideas about "mental illness" and its treatment, from the mid-19th century to the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970s. Born of a utopian spirit dedicated to healing minds broken by the modern world, insane asylums devolved into "theaters of madness" where "lunatics" were stigmatized and warehoused. Race, gender, class, and sexuality shaped how mental illness has been conceptualized and treated over a pivotal century in American culture. Using sociological research and popular culture - such as films, novels, and television - we examine the asylum as a type of social control, and mid-20th century criticisms of asylums as "total institutions."

Course Details

Campus: 
Amherst
Format: 
Online
Level: 
Undergraduate
Subject: 
Sociology
Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice / Sociology
Criminal Justice/Homeland Security
Number: 
SOCIOL 397AM
Semester: 
Summer 2018
Registration Status: 
Closed
Registration: 
Monday, March 12, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018