Explorations in the Social Mechanisms of Depression Cover Image

W poszukiwaniu społecznej koncepcji depresji
Explorations in the Social Mechanisms of Depression

Author(s): Dorota Rancew-Sikora
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: depression; emotional energy; mental health; social mechanism; gender

Summary/Abstract: In recent years World Health Organization’s (WHO) statistics reveal the growing number of people complaining of depression and taking antidepressants. In the article the author presents an overview of the current sociological explanations of this phenomenon and offers her own theoretical conceptualization of the problem. Departing from a phenomenological description of melancholy, she then reviews some critical theorists’ suggestions pertaining that depression is an effect of medicalization and privatization of important social problems. The author ponders on the concepts of depression as a result of individualistic culture with its pressure on authentic self-realization (Petersen 2011), social anomy and disconnection (Karp 1996; Blazer 2005). She also reviews an important concept of „silencing the self” by Dona Jack (1991), which provides a partial explanation of gender differences in depression statistics. The author’s own proposal is based on Mark Granovetter’s (1985) concept of „embeddedness” and Emile Durkheim - Randall Collins (2011) concept of „emotional energy”. The author assumes depression risk is distributed unevenly among the members of various social categories because of situationally differentiated „moodiness to act” (Silver 2011) and prospects for cooperative action.

  • Issue Year: 206/2012
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 81-104
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Polish