Mental health and symbolic interactionism: Untapped opportunities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter proposes an overview of the four most significant contributions of symbolic interactionism to our understanding of mental health: (1) generating non-judgmental accounts of the experiences of mental health problems; (2) theorizing the role of diagnostic labels in the production of mental health issues; (3) studying how mental disorders make sense, exist, and are embedded only within specific interaction settings and institutions; (4) and understanding the social control weighing on our mental functioning. In doing so, it advances that the symbolic interactionist perspective has produced promising but relatively untapped research avenues in mental health and that these avenues need to be adapted to the major changes that took place in this area since the seminal works of the 1960s.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication The Routledge International Handbook of Interactionism
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9780429276767
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • mental health

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