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J Health Soc Behav. 2001 Sep;42(3):221-34.

The role of sociology in the study of mental health ... and the role of mental health in the study of sociology.

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1
Institute for Human Development, Life Course, and Aging, 222 College St., Suite 106, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5T 3J1.

Abstract

This essay considers the dual roles occupied by the sociologist of mental health. These roles involve the articulation of social causation in the study of mental health outside of the discipline, coupled with the articulation within the discipline of the importance of mental health in the study of sociology. I consider these roles both through examples and speculation, emphasizing the unique combination of conceptual and methodological tools that define the intellectual terrain of this area of sociology. The advantage of this dual role--of looking outward while also looking inward--is that we are able to draw from the essential developments and innovations from one source and "move" these insights toward the other. The difficulties of this position are also clear: As an area, we may be structurally marginal from both perspectives, at the same time that we offer considerable analytic power that could significantly impact the direction of research involving mental health in both realms.

PMID:
11668771
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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