Madness : Ideas About Insanity book cover
1st Edition

Ideas About Insanity

ISBN 9781138905528
Published March 24, 2017 by Routledge
234 Pages

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Book Description

This book is an introduction to the uncertainties and incongruities about madness. It is aimed at all of those who are curious about this subject whether out of general inquisitiveness or because it is part of a formal course of study.

Using case studies of real people in order to explain, humanise, and bring to life the subject, Peter Morrall critically analyses how madness has been and is understood, or perhaps misunderstood. By contrasting past and present people who have been perceived as mad and/or perceive themselves as mad, Morrall presents core ideas about madness and critiques their would-be robustness in explaining the specific madness of the person in question, as well as their general relevance to madness overall.

Unlike many of its contemporaries, the book does not adhere to a perspective,
but rather remains skeptical about the ideas of all who profess to understand
madness, whether these emanate from sociology, psychology, psychotherapy,
anthropology, ‘anti’ psychiatry, or the biological sciences of contemporary

This book will inform and stimulate the thinking of the reader, and challenge those with preconceived ideas about madness.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Madness Manufactured

Chapter 2. Incarceration and Control

Chapter 3. Sane Insanity

Chapter 4. Insane Society

Chapter 5. Science and Psychiatry


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Peter Morrall is an Associate Professor of Health Sociology at the University
of Leeds, UK, who focuses on constructive critiques of the meaning of madness,
madness and murder, and psychotherapy. He also rides motorbikes, sings, and
plays the saxophone, but (so far) not all three at once.