Feminist Social Constructionist Approaches
Routledge – 1999 – 224 pages
Series: Women and Psychology
Women are particularly vulnerable to depression. Understanding Depression provides an in-depth critical examination of mainstream approaches to understanding and treating depression from a feminist perspective. Janet Stoppard argues that current approaches give only partial accounts of womens' experiences of depression and concludes that a better understanding will only be achieved when womens' experiences and lived realities are considered in relation to the material and social conditions in which their everyday lives are embedded. The impact of this change in approach for modes of treatment are discussed and solutions are suggested.
Understanding Depression offers new insights into the problem and its treatment. It will prove useful to those with an interest in depression and gender as well as mental health practitioners.
Janet Stoppard has produced an immensely insightful and thought-provoking work, and my advice to anyone interested in understanding depression is to get hold of it. It fills a gap in the available literature, and points towards new directions for research. - Siân E. Lewis, Psychological Health Sheffield, in 'Feminism & Psychology'
Stoppard provides a clear, well-organized and in-depth critique of the dominant models of depression as well as solid introduction to social constructionist terminology ^DEL She advocates for an understanding that is partial and strives to open up dialogue among and between various modes of thinking ^DEL [This book] would be appropriate as an introductory text for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in psychology, critical theory or women's studies. Additionally, clinicians interested in retheorizing depression from a socio-political perspective will find this book enormously helpful.
- Bethany Riddle, Duquesne University, in Theory & Psychology
Part I: Introduction. Depression: a gendered problem. What is depression? Definitional debates. Part II: Explaining Depression in women: mainstream frameworks. Looking for sources of depression within person environment interactions: diathesis-stress models. Depression and women's psychology: susceptibility or specifity? Social Models of depression: sources of adversity and stress in women's lives. Women's bodies, women's lives and depression: exploring material-discursive approaches. Part III: Embodied lives: understanding depression in women in context. Depression in adolescence: negotiating identities in a girl-poisoning culture. Women's lives and depression: marriage and motherhood. Women and agining: depression in midlife and old age. Part IV: Implications for theory and practise: feminist socil constructionist approaches. Women overcoming depression: coping, treatment and politics. Why new perspectives are needed for understanding depression in women.
Janet M. Stoppard is a Professor in Psychology at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. She has worked as a clinical psychologist and has published widely in women, mental health and depression.