Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: "Dangerous and disordered" : the discursive construction of "mental illness" in public texts
Author: Kent, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 6818
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The Mental Health Act 1983, amended in 2007, appears based on the assumption that an undisputed entity of “mental disorder” exists, that people who are designated mentally disordered should be treated, and if necessary, detained by doctors. This study aimed to examine how mental disorder was discursively constructed and how different institutional interventions and practices were justified and legitimised in the House of Commons’ debates regarding the Mental Health Act 2007. Verbatim transcripts from House of Commons debates on the Mental Health Act (conducted between 24th April and 15th May 2007) were studied through a discourse analysis. Seven primary discursive constructions were identified: “The Trusted and Medically Objective Expert,” “The Emergency,” “A Fair Process,” “Supporting Subjects,” “The Decision-Making Impaired and Vulnerably Ill Patient,” “The Lawyer’s Field Day,” and “Societal (Dis)Order.” The study concludes that mental disorder was represented in selective and systemic ways that can help justify and legitimise different interventions and practices, for example, enforced medication, making government legislation and psychiatric practices seem necessary. Consideration was given to how psychiatric practices could be problematic for some service users and how legislation could be based on political and public concerns about social disorder.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: J General legislative and executive papers ; RC0512 Psychopathology. Mental disorders