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Article
December 1969

In the Name of Mental Health: The Social Functions of Psychiatry.

Author Affiliations
 

By Ronald Leifer, MD. Price, $8.95. Pp 282. Science House, New York, 1969.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(6):766-768. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740240126022

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Abstract

In the Name of Mental Health should produce a seismic tremor within the organizational and institutional bastions of psychiatry. Its subtitle, The Social Functions of Psychiatry, is, however, something of a misnomer for the book is not really an objective study of the sociology of psychiatry but is, instead, a treatise on the social misuse of psychiatry. It is also an indictment of the medical model of psychiatry, which the author unmasks as the subterfuge employed by society in utilizing psychiatry as an institution to accomplish certain anti-individual purposes which society would prefer not to look at too closely. In his dissection, the author employs logic and the analysis of concepts and language in a merciless but, it must be said, effective manner to strip away many of the unexamined assumptions operating at the interface between psychiatry and society.

The attack he mounts on

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