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The Morality of Depression: A Theoretical Study on the Social Maintenance of Depression
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2020 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This theoretical study depicts and highlights the seemingly individual phenomenon of depression in a social and collective light. Shame and guilt naturally invoke negative responses in people, yet, this has been found beneficial for the social solidarity of a collective. However, such emotions are oftentimes imposed by people and institutions in authoritative positions on their subordinates as a form of social control. This social control is masked under the virtuous face of morality. Thus, it is difficult for an already unstable mind, such as the depressed, to distinguish between constructive and toxic feedback when applying it to the self. The contradiction that arises is that a collective system of common interest manifests in a marginalising fashion and causes the deviant to further deviate from the normative collective. The purpose and aim of this inquiry are thus to investigate how the social construction of emotions and morality contribute to the maintenance of depression. The theoretical background largely shapes the analysis and is based on Charles Cooley’s concept of the looking-glass self, and Emile Durkheim’s study on suicide. A literature review on the research phenomenon also acts as an essential tool within the analysis as it helps grasp the core of the topic. The methodological approach is of a theoretical fashion as opposed to empirical. Furthermore, it uses the inference of abduction to construct arguments that illustrate the most reasonable explanation for the social nature of depression. The results showed that there is indeed a correlation between depression, emotions, morality and social control that manifest in a case of structural depression. Furthermore, the findings illustrated a fine balance between the intentions of morality and social control through emotive imposition, and the reality which seldom benefits the deviant members of society. Finally, the abstract nature of this study introduced representational limitations which in future empirical research can be modified by addressing context-specific structural depression.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 41
Keywords [en]
depression, morality, social control
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-402722OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-402722DiVA, id: diva2:1386622
Subject / course
Social and Political Studies
Educational program
Freestanding course
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-01-24 Created: 2020-01-18 Last updated: 2020-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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