Psychopathology at School: Theorizing mental disorders in education, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Psychopathology at School

Theorizing mental disorders in education, 1st Edition

By Valerie Harwood, Julie Allan


218 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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Psychopathology at School provides a timely response to concerns about the rising numbers of children whose behaviour is recognised and understood as a medicalised condition, rather than simply as poor behaviour caused by other factors. It is the first scholarly analysis of psychopathology which draws on the philosophers Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari and Arendt to examine the processes whereby children’s behaviour is pathologised. The heightened attention to mental disorders is contrasted with education practices in the early and mid-to-late twentieth century, and the emergence of a new conceptualization of childhood is explored.

Taking education as a central component to the contemporary experience of growing up, the book charts the ways in which mental disorders have become commonplace in childhood and youth, from birth through to college and university, but also offers examples of where professionals have refused to pathologise children’s behaviour. The book examines the extent of the influence of psychopathology on the lives of children and young people, as well as the practices that infiltrate education and the possibilities for alternative educational responses that negate the diagnosis of mental disorder.

Psychopathology at School is a must read for anyone concerned about the growing influence of psychopathology in education and will be of particular interest to educated readers and to scholars, students and professionals in education, psychiatry, psychology, child studies, youth studies, nursing, social work and sociology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. A Brief History of Mental Disorders in School 3. The Risk Factors? 'Race', Social Class and Gender 4. From the Cradle to the Crèche 5. Primary School 6. Secondary School 7. Colleges and Universities 8. Professionals' Interruptions 9. Conclusion - Learning, Teaching and the Thrill of Pedagogy

About the Authors

Valerie Harwood is a Future Fellow with the Australian Research Council and Associate Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Wollongong, Australia.

Julie Allan is Professor of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Birmingham, UK, and Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Borås, Sweden.

About the Series

Theorizing Education

Theorizing Education brings together innovative work from a wide range of contexts and traditions which explicitly focuses on the roles of theory in educational research and educational practice. The series includes contextual and socio-historical analyses of existing traditions of theory and theorizing, exemplary use of theory, and empirical work where theory has been used in innovative ways. The distinctive focus for the series is the engagement with educational questions, articulating what explicitly educational function the work of particular forms of theorizing supports.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / General