An original, comparative look at homelessness, mental disease, and addiction in America


Of Others Inside

Insanity, Addiction, and Belonging in America

Darin Weinberg, foreword by Bryan S. Turner

paper EAN: 978-1-59213-404-5 (ISBN: 1-59213-404-1)
$29.95, Sep 05, Available
cloth EAN: 978-1-59213-403-8 (ISBN: 1-59213-403-3)
$75.50, Sep 05, Available
Electronic Book EAN: 978-1-59213-405-2 (ISBN: 1-59213-405-X)
248 pp 6x9

Melvin Pollner Prize in Ethnomethodology by the American Sociological Association Section on Ethnomethodology & Conversation Analysis, 2011

"Of Others Inside is brilliant and fascinating. The author has done a commendable job charting a middle ground between the equally unsatisfying positions that mental illness and addictions are things-in-themselves or arbitrary social constructions."
Spencer Cahill, University of South Florida

There is little doubt among scientists and the general public that homelessness, mental illness, and addiction are inter-related. In Of Others Inside, Darin Weinberg examines how these inter-relations have taken form in the United States. He links the establishment of these connections to the movement of mental health and addiction treatment from redemptive processes to punitive ones and back again, and explores the connection between social welfare, rehabilitation, and the criminal justice system.

Seeking to offer a new sociological understanding of the relationship between social exclusion and mental disability, Of Others Inside considers the general social conditions of homelessness, poverty, and social marginality in the U.S. Weinberg also explores questions about American perceptions of these conditions, and examines in great detail the social reality of mental disability and drug addiction without reducing people's suffering to simple notions of biological fate or social disorder.


Excerpt available at


"Well written and unique in its empirical scope, Of Others Inside is a groundbreaking analysis of the relationship between social exclusion and mental disorder in America.... [A] major contribution to debates about the relationship between community solidarity and mental health."
Jaber F. Gubrium, University of Missouri

"Based on scrupulously careful historical analysis and penetrating ethnography, Weinberg liberates us from the idea that insanity and addiction are either human constructions or independent realities. He illuminates how they are equally social products and causal factors in shaping expected paths toward wellness. Although focused on the marginalized ill, this work provides a more general model for getting beyond radically objectivist or subjectivist explanations that stifle progress in the human sciences. This will be the book's most enduring contribution."
David A. Karp, author of Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness and The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope with Mental Illness

"Weinberg's book brazenly undertakes to explain the intersecting influences of mental disability, addiction and poverty. This is without doubt a complex, multi-faceted and daunting task, and one Weinberg succeeds at.... [I]t is written in a manner that mirrors the complexity of the issue under study... although the text is in-depth in nature, it simultaneously provides the reader with a clear understanding of its intents and variously synthesizes the multiple areas it covers.... [A] fascinating account of ethnographic research..."
The Canadian Journal of Sociology Online

"Weinberg's Of Others Inside is a treasure trove of groundbreaking research and theoretical insights for anyone interested in deviance and social problems."
Contemporary Sociology


  Also available in e-book


Foreword – Bryan S. Turner
1. Introduction: Beyond Objectivism and Subjectivism in the Sociology of Mental Health

Part I. A History of Insanities and Addictions Among Marginalized Americans
2. Setting the Stage
3. Addictions and Insanities: Two Fields and Their Phenomena

Part II. A Tale of Two Programs
4. Canyon House
5. Twilights

6. Conclusion


About the Author(s)

Darin Weinberg teaches in the Department of Sociology at Cambridge University and is a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.

Subject Categories

Health and Health Policy


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