Four Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathology I: Setting the Social Constructive Stage
Practices, which are the third element in our tri-partite categorization, are clearly not social constructions. They are explicit and readily discussed. Alternative practices are always available, though the number of viable options might be quite limited if the underlying models and paradigm(s) are particularly powerful and compelling. The story is a bit bigger than this. The options are often limited, constrained and strictly enforced under conditions of pervasive and sustained anxiety–especially when there is pervasive uncertainty, unpredictability and turbulence. These conditions are common in our postmodern world (Bergquist, 1993).
In turning specifically to our analysis of the assumptive worlds of psychopathology, I suggest that the practice of categorizing and treating psychopathy is strongly influenced by several dominant models and paradigms operating in any society where the categorization and treatment of psychopathy is taking place. Furthermore, this categorization and treatment is taking place under conditions that are inevitably saturated with anxiety (psychopathy is disturbing and frightening for all involved). And the domain of psychopathy has always been filled with uncertainty, unpredictability and turbulence—long before we entered the postmodern era. We enter this domain in the next four essays and bring with us the tools of social construction identified in this first essay.
Argyris, C. and D. Schon (1974) Theory in Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Bergquist, W. (1993) The Postmodern Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Berger, P. and T. Luckmann (1967) The Social Construction of Reality. New York: Anchor Press.
Greenberg, G. (2019) “Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris,” The Atlantic, April, pp. 30-32.
Kuhn, T. (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Searle, J. (1997) The Construction of Social Reality. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Whorf, B. (2012) Language, Thought and Reality, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.