'Dangerous and severe personality disorder': an illustration of the risk society within psychiatry

Corbett, Kevin and Westwood, Tristan (2004) 'Dangerous and severe personality disorder': an illustration of the risk society within psychiatry. In: British Sociological Association Annual Conference, 22-24th March 2004, University of York, England, U.K.. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


This paper analyses the newly proposed United Kingdom (UK) psychiatric diagnosis of 'dangerous severe personality disorder' ('DSPD'). The analysis aims to show how 'DSPD' characterises Beck's analysis of the 'risk society'. Concepts such as 'dangerousness', 'violence' and 'risk' are critically reviewed in relation to 'DSPD' and are found to be less than objective. The paper interrogates the political underpinnings of this newly proposed diagnosis and analyses pre-existing frameworks of potential utility for developing further understanding of mental health. Key issues are critically discussed in relation to the concept of 'dangerousness' including the reliability of assessment tools, the socio-economic status of those potentially diagnosed and detention without committing any prior offence. The paper also discusses the potential for conflict between the proposed legislation, the UK Human Rights Act 1998, healthcare practice and the likelihood of divided professional loyalties. The paper argues that this newly proposed health policy has a socio-political rather than psychiatric rationale for justifying psychiatric detention and, as such, is an illustration of the late modern culture of risk within the field of mental health.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Adult, Child and Midwifery
Item ID: 17804
Depositing User: Kevin Corbett
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2015 09:23
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:37
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/17804

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