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December 1958

Social Class and Mental Illness: A Community Study

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(6):795-797. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340120131021

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The ten-year collaborative research directed by Hollingshead, a sociologist, and Redlich, a psychiatrist, has already produced some twenty-five papers; and the general drift of their work is very well known. But in "Social Class and Mental Illness" most of the major data of their project are given for the first time in detail. (A second volume, entitled "Social Class, Family Dynamics, and Mental Illness," by Jerome Myers and Bertram Roberts, will soon be published.) The entire project represents trends of capital importance that are affecting the nature and destiny of psychiatry.

One trend is the sociologizing of psychiatric research—meaning the incorporation of sociological perspectives into the study of mental disease and its treatment. The parallel and conjoint researches of sociologists and psychiatrists have supported the movement toward a social psychiatry, itself a close relative of what has come to be called, rather broadly, of course, "milieu therapy." All of this

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