ABSTRACT

To develop a sociology of the mentally disordered offender it is inevitable that we must deal with the sociologies of both mental disorder and crime. However, the sociology of the mentally disordered offender is more than a mere amalgam of the latter two, and represents a fusion in which the process of synthesis creates a new field of study. Furthermore, it is the social processes of this fusion, and the forces that effect it, that constitutes our starting point. We cannot begin to understand the social creation of the mentally disordered offender unless we grapple with the wider issues that not only allow, but also provide, the motivational drive for this emergent field. Whether we trace back through literary documents for factual statements, or archaeologically 'dig' for contemporary ideas, matters little as historical tracings must be arbitrarily anchored in time and subjectively interpretational. Our mapping of this field of study is no different in this respect, and we begin our analysis in the years between the world wars with the sociology of deviance.