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Making It CrazyAn Ethnography of Psychiatric Clients in an American Community$
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Sue Estroff

Print publication date: 1985

Print ISBN-13: 9780520054516

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520054516.001.0001

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The Social Construction of a Crazy Reality

The Social Construction of a Crazy Reality

(p.213) 9 The Social Construction of a Crazy Reality
Making It Crazy

Sue E. Estroff

University of California Press

This chapter explains what is occurring in the interaction among clients, and between the clients and others. The aim is to clarify the multiple meanings inherent in the author's interpretation of “making it crazy.” Several central concepts and premises are included in the symbolic interactionist approach: meaning or significance; the intersubjective nature of reality; the self as subject and object and as a product of social process; and the interpretation of events, persons, and self through interaction with others as a force for maintaining and altering reality. One might surmise that clients not only accept and elaborate their differentness but also hate, fear, and reject them at the same time. The processes through which the clients, and nearly all with whom they interact, have participated in the construction of a social and perhaps personal reality and identity that ensures and perpetuates their existences as long-term psychiatric patients have been summarized.

Keywords:   psychiatric patients, crazy, symbolic interactionist approach, meaning, intersubjective nature, social process

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