Madness: Ideas About Insanity, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Ideas About Insanity, 1st Edition

By Peter Morrall


226 pages

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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


About the Author

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health