Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Disease, Overview

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_644


Critical psychology offers a critique of the construct of disease based on the positivist and capitalist ideological assumptions that inform dominant discourses regarding how disease is defined and who has authority to determine the presence of disease and the forms of intervention appropriate for ameliorating or correcting. This critique reveals a number of important issues that have framed debates regarding what constitutes disease. Among these issues are the mind-body question (Stam, 2004); the degree to which causes of disease are situated within the individual versus within the physical and sociocultural environment (Barney, 1994); the extent to which using disease to define the meaning and causes of deviance results in prescribing the status quo, social control, and abuse of power (Maracek & Hare-Mustin, 2009); and the role of social and cultural context in determining what gets labeled as a disease (Conrad & Barker, 2010). Prevailing social, historical, political,...

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Online Resources

  1. Moynihan, R., & Henry, D. (2006, April 11). The fight against disease mongering: Generating knowledge for action [Online essay]. Retrieved from http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0030191

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Psychology Program, Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA