The Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick has organised a workshop on ‘Psychiatric Science and Lay Perspectives’ to take place 14 December 2006.

The aim of the workshop is to shed light on the relationship between psychiatric science and lay interpretations of mental illness. Since its establishment as a science in the 19th century, psychiatry has sought to achieve status as a clinical medical discipline, as objective and independent of lay opinions in the same way as other medical specialities. However, the case stories provided by people in the local community have always played a large part in psychiatric practice, as doctors have made their judgments in close association with the interpretations presented to them by family members, relatives, neighbours, local officials, etc.

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