© 2017

Mental Health Uncertainty and Inevitability

Rejuvenating the Relationship between Social Science and Psychiatry

  • Hugh Middleton
  • Melanie Jordan
  • Bridges research from social theory and mental health and biopsychiatry

  • Brings together a variety of cutting edge perspectives and contributors

  • Offers insights into how mental health policy and practice can and should be improved in the future


About this book


This book offers original knowledge, debate, and understanding from frontline fieldwork data and the relations between mental health difficulties, mental healthcare provision, and social theory.

Dominant discourse of the last half century has followed a medical perspective. This has marginalised contributions from social science. Furthermore purely medical approaches to mental healthcare have profound shortcomings. Thus, this book draws upon innovative research findings to rejuvenate the relationship between psychiatry and social science. It frames this by reference to certain inevitable and uncertain elements of mental health which characterise this field.

Over nine chapters the volume is a unique contribution to several intersecting areas of intellectual enterprise, research, and learning — as well as a source of insight into how mental health practice and policy might be modified and improved. As a result, it appeals to a wide range of audiences including social scientists, mental health practitioners, mental health researchers, social theorists, mental health service users, and policy-makers.


Mental illness Assertive Outreach Therapeutic Communities Dementia Forensic Psychiatry Mental Health

Editors and affiliations

  • Hugh Middleton
    • 1
  • Melanie Jordan
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Sociology and Social PolicyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.School of Sociology and Social PolicyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Hugh Middleton is Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, UK, and an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist.

Melanie Jordan is is Assistant Professor in Criminology at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Bibliographic information


“This is a novel and much needed book. It brings together psychiatry and social science in innovative ways, both in terms of theory and methods and in terms experimenting with new ways of writing. It is refreshing to see contributions by young and emerging social science writers grappling with cutting edge issues that transgress disciplines and academic cultures. Their findings should make academic and non-academic readers alike think afresh about mental health as an issue not only of medicine and medication but of culture and socialisation. Most importantly, the book makes us all think about whether it is possible or desirable to take refuge in biomedical certainty alone when dealing with mental health issues. Acknowledging and embracing uncertainty might be a healthier perspective, and one adopted in this book.” (Brigitte Nerlich, Professor of Science, Language and Society, University of Nottingham)

arly work undertaken  by up and coming social scientists working in the area of social science applied to mental health.  The novelty of these interesting contributions lies in the concern to link social science theory, concepts and methods to the various settings and places within which mental health is managed thought about and enacted.   This collection which provides excellent insights into contemporary mental health matters demonstrates the opportunities and possibilities  that  mental health service settings can   provide for  conducting  exciting social science research.” (Anne Rogers, Professor of Health Systems Implementation, University of Southampton, Author of A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness)

“This collection offers powerful insights into the ways in which social science research can help us understand how to develop mental health services to ensure high quality, continually improving and compassionate care. It reveals also the rich field of opportunities for research that the study of mental health services offers for researchers. The contributors are all practitioners with social science research training and their commitment, wisdom and compassion shine through the content.” (Michael West, Senior Fellow, The King's Fund and Professor of Organizational Psychology, Lancaster University)