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Durham e-Theses
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Thinking about schizophrenia, thinking about schizophrenic thinking, and schizophrenic thinking

Barham, John Peter (1977) Thinking about schizophrenia, thinking about schizophrenic thinking, and schizophrenic thinking. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The thesis treats of schizophrenia as a social institution; consideration is given to the way in which schizophrenics speak and think, and to the ideas and practices that have developed around them. Such ideas and practices - both scientific and non-scientific - it is argued, have been generated by the requirements of living in Western societies. The inquiry is in three parts. First, a detailed study of the way in which a single chronic schizophrenic patient engages with the world. Second, a consideration of prevailing approaches to the study of language and thought in schizophrenia. Singled out for special emphasis is the personal construct theory approach to the study of thought disorder; close attention is given to an examination of repertory grids taken from a number of chronic schizophrenic patients. The account of schizophrenic thought that is given by personal construct theory is shown to be inadequate in its own terms, and more generally as servicing human interests that are falsifying both of schizophrenics and of non- schizophrenics. The final section builds on the earlier discussion, and introduces material from other sources, to suggest that, typically, the ideas and practices that have been developed around schizophrenics in the name of a particular version of science have had as their function the restoration of forms of order, relevance and relation to which, in our society, we strongly adhere and of which the schizophrenic is disruptive. Some suggestions are made as to the requirements for an alternative form of response and relation to the tribulations of schizophrenics, and for a formal characterisation of the way in which the schizophrenic engages with the world.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1977
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:30

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