chapter  6
13 Pages

Risking Diagnosis?

Race, Class and Gender in the Psychopathologization of Behaviour Disorder
WithJulie Allan, Valerie Harwood

This chapter examines the 'risks' associated with 'race', class and gender and details how these affect diagnosis and the medicalization of behaviour. It draws from the literature on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and childhood mental disorders, and from statistics from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Brazil. The chapter explores the specific patterns of diagnosis within each of the risk factors and the subsequent practices of spatialization that arise. It examines some of the available figures on prevalence relating to the diagnosis of special needs and behaviour disorder among minority ethnic groups. The chapter suggests that children and young people of low socio-economic status experience a naming of their chaotic lives and of the lack in their lives, not just of material goods but also of self-control. It also suggests that the practices that medicalize poverty and child behaviour territorialize social class in new ways.