Feminist conceptualizations of women's madness: a review of the literature

Wright, Nicola and Owen, Sara (2001) Feminist conceptualizations of women's madness: a review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 36 (1). pp. 143-150. ISSN 1365-2648

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01951.x...

Abstract

Background: Gender is one aspect of an individual's identity that has been widely debated and discussed in relation to many different aspects of social life. The literature review explores how gender stereotypes affect women and their experience of mental illness. The aim is to demonstrate how a feminist perspective provides a useful lens through which women's experience of mental illness can be viewed.

Methods: The papers were identified by a computerized search of the CINAHL, Medline, BIDS ISI and Mental Health Nursing Collection databases and a hand search. All papers were screened and subjected to critical review.

Results: A theoretical framework was developed that reflected two key themes to emerge from the feminist literature on women and mental illness, namely psychiatry as a method of socially controlling women and the medicalization of women's unhappiness. In addition the complexities and contradictions in the feminist arguments are highlighted.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Background: Gender is one aspect of an individual's identity that has been widely debated and discussed in relation to many different aspects of social life. The literature review explores how gender stereotypes affect women and their experience of mental illness. The aim is to demonstrate how a feminist perspective provides a useful lens through which women's experience of mental illness can be viewed. Methods: The papers were identified by a computerized search of the CINAHL, Medline, BIDS ISI and Mental Health Nursing Collection databases and a hand search. All papers were screened and subjected to critical review. Results: A theoretical framework was developed that reflected two key themes to emerge from the feminist literature on women and mental illness, namely psychiatry as a method of socially controlling women and the medicalization of women's unhappiness. In addition the complexities and contradictions in the feminist arguments are highlighted.
Keywords:Madness, Gender, Women, Mental health, Feminism, Mental illness, Social constructionism
Subjects:L Social studies > L321 Women's Studies
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B760 Mental Health Nursing
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:615
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:27 Apr 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:12

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