Mind, Modernity, Madness

3M_CoverLargeImage“A substantial piece of writing, impeccably researched, ambitious in its execution, provocative and fresh in its approach… a tour de force—American Journal of Sociology

“[A] magnificent sweep of several fields”—The American Journal of Psychiatry

“Greenfeld traffics in bold interpretations, and addresses without apology literary and philosophical texts now ordinarily ceded to the humanities. She brings to the task considerable rhetorical gifts, her immersion in modern literary traditions undoubtedly contributing to the rare vigor and grace of her writing… this is a provocative and important work of humanist sociology, infused with a passion for ideas and grand argument”—Contemporary Sociology

“A sweeping, sociologically grounded theory of the relationship between madness, mind, and society… a significant contribution to understanding mental illness… highly recommended”—CHOICE

“A compelling case that how we construct meaning and identity in our lives is a significant causal factor in madness”—Barron’s

“What most distinguishes Greenfeld’s model of the mind from so much else in the field is that she brings together biological and cultural approaches to mental illness inclusively rather than exclusively, in a way that enlarges rather than diminishes both. While accepting the biological reality of major mental illnesses, her analysis is focused not simply on the brain, in a reductive sense, but on the mind as a product of experience and learning as well as biology. Likewise, she applies cultural concepts to psychiatry not in the reductive, purely social-constructionist manner of Laing, Foucault, and Szasz, but so as to foster understanding of cultural and historical variations in the incidence and expression of mental illness that biology alone cannot explain.”—Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D., Harvard Medical School

About the Book

Table of Contents


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