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Mental illness is dependent upon the way in which the individual defines the situations. What is worrying to one person may not be to another, for example, in the film One flew over the cuckoos nest, when Macmurphy finds out that many of the people on

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Introduction

1- The view of the individual in society which underlies the interactionist perspective is that the individual acts depending on their specific view of the social world, how they see certain situations in the context of their lives has a major impact on how they undertake certain situations and make their decisions. People make decisions on the basis of the meanings that things have for them, and these meanings derive from social interactions. 2- Mental illness is dependent upon the way in which the individual defines the situations because decisions always have to be made in context with regards to the individual's state of mind. What is worrying to one person may not be to another, for example, in the film One flew over the cuckoo's nest, when Macmurphy finds out that many of the people on the ward that he had been associating with where staying at the institution voluntarily, he was extremely shocked, this was because from his viewpoint life was an enjoyable experience and by living inside the hospital they were missing out on it, and that they didn't need to be there at all. ...read more.

Middle

outsider, the outsiders view of the situation may be very different, therefore in some ways, mental illness could be considered to be only existing in context. 3- Power and authority can be defined as having a certain amount of control over a person or groups of people; this can be through things such as having a higher status then the other, which grants control. In One flew over the cuckoo's nest, many different characters have power and authority over others. The doctors and psychiatrists generally have the most power, as they administrate and control everyone below them. Nurse Ratchet is probably the most dominant and obvious authority figure that the patients experience in the film, she controls the time the patients get up, have their medication, conduct their activities, and even in the group therapy sessions Nurse Ratchet is the one who decides when each person is allowed to speak. Nurse Ratchet uses her power and authority to control the orderlies, who in turn control the patients. Power and authority are huge, if not the most important factors that affect the labelling process. ...read more.

Conclusion

that they are mentally ill and must be controlled, but Macmurphy attempts to show them that there isn't a reason that they should be in the hospital at all. The irony is that the patients are always in a position to make a decision about their lives themselves, but they need someone with authority or power over them to help sway their decision. People are only labelled as deviant or mentally ill because their actions are defined as such by society or a higher power, without authority figures making decisions on who is deviant or who is mentally ill, these labels may not exist because they rely on the application from people of high status, and the acceptance of this label from the person being labelled. Billy Bibbit confesses he is voluntarily in the hospital because he is afraid of the outside world, and it is because this confession is realized and accepted by the medical staff that his label is confirmed, but if this idea was never accepted by the staff ( of higher authority ) then he never would have considered himself mentally ill, so the labelling process is fully dependant on acceptance from a higher status figure. ...read more.

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