Stigma and Branding: Who is SANE

Alec McHoul, MCC and Mark Rapley, Psychology

Pub Talk

Thursdays at the Fremantle Hotel, corner Cliff & High Streets
Presentations start 6.30pm sharp.

19 September 2002


This paper looks at the SANE Australia organisation - which claims to be a public body working in the interests and for the welfare of the "mentally ill". In particular, the paper looks at SANE's "StigmaWatch" campaign where members are invited to dob in organisations and individuals who "misuse" references to madness and thereby, we hear, "stigmatise" those who suffer from "diagnosable" "mental illnesses". What we try to show is that quite ordinary uses of words such as "psycho", "schizo" (and the rest) predate pseudo-scientific "diagnostic" categories and that those who use them in the media (such as, in one case, Ray Martin) are merely part of an English-language tradition stemming back to at least Wyclif's translation of the New Testament (1382).

Pub Talk | 2002

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