Stefan Sjöström Luigi Gariglio Mario Cardano

Controlling madness. An introduction



This contribution deals with social control in the context of madness. It is divided into three sections. The first one, The sociology of madness, illustrates the origins of this field and shows how it has contributed to the development of Sociology as such. The second, Coercion as a form of social control, begins by illustrating the intertwined concepts of social control, medical social control, and medical social control of madness. It procedes to present a set of tools of negotiation for controlling madness organised into three categories: non-coercive, non-physically-coercive, and coercive tools of negotiation. This include, for example, negotiation, inducement, use of force, mechanical restraints and chemical restraints. The last section, A historical outlook on otherness policies, deals with the control of madness from a historical perspective, starting with a general overview of the government of madness in Western countries and closing with a focus on the Italian context


  • social control
  • coercion
  • sociology of madness
  • mental health
  • mechanical restraint
  • Basaglia


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