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Making sense of normality : an interpretive perspective on ’normal’ and ’disturbed’ family Anderson, Joan Madge 1981

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MAKING SENSE OF NORMALITY: AN INTERPRETIVE PERSPECTIVE ON 'NORMAL' AND 'DISTURBED' FAMILY JOAN MADGE ANDERSON B.N., M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y , 1969 M.S.N., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f A n t h r o p o l o g y and S o c i o l o g y ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1981 © J o a n Madge A n d e r s o n , 1981 In presenting th is thes is in p a r t i a l fu l f i lment o f the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thes is for scho la r ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l ica t ion of th is thes is for f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wri t ten permission. Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date A b s t r a c t T h i s s t u d y r e p o r t s an i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o t h e c o n c e p t o f n o r m a l i t y as a p a r a m e t e r o f f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g , f r o m t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f i n t e r p r e -t i v e s o c i o l o g y . T h e o r i e s w h i c h seek t o e x p l a i n ' d e v i a n t ' o r ' d i s t u r b e d ' b e h a v i o r as t h e p r o d u c t o f d e f e c t i v e communication p a t t e r n s w i t h i n f a m i l i e s a r e a n a l y z e d f o r t h e i r e x p l i c i t o r i m p l i c i t c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s o f 'normal' f a m i l y l i f e and communicative s t r u c t u r e . I n p a r t i c u l a r , a t t e n t i o n i s p a i d t o t h e f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n : t o what e x t e n t do f o r m a l t h e o r i e s o f n o r m a l and d i s t u r b e d b e h a v i o r i n s t r u c t t h e r e s e a r c h e r on t h e r e l i a b l e i d e n t i f i c a -t i o n o f s i g n i f i c a n t c ommunication p r a c t i c e s ? I n o r d e r t o answer t h i s q u e s t i o n e t h n o g r a p h i c d a t a were c o l l e c t e d on s i x t e e n f a m i l i e s i d e n t i f i e d as n o r m a l . I n t e r a c t i o n s between p a r e n t s and c h i l d r e n c o n d u c t i n g e v e r y d a y a c t i v i t i e s were o b s e r v e d and r e c o r d e d . The d a t a a r e used t o show t h a t i n o r d e r t o s a t i s f y t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t h e o r i e s o f f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g , e x t e n s i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f i n t e r a c t i o n i s r e q u i r e d , f o r which such t h e o r i e s g i v e no e x p l i c i t g u i d a n c e . I n s o f a r as t h e s e t h e o r i e s form t h e b a s i s o f c l i n i c a l p r a c t i c e , i t i s a r g u e d , s u c h p r a c t i c e must be seen t o r e s t upon t a c i t d e c i s i o n s c o n c e r n i n g t h e n a t u r e o f 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' b e h a v i o r , i n t h e c o n t e x t o f e v e r y d a y p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n i n g . D e f i n i t i o n s o f n o r m a l i t y and d i s t u r b a n c e , w h i c h u n d e r l y s u c c e s s f u l p r a c -t i c e , a r e t h u s shown t o be i n t e r p r e t i v e l y c o n s t r u c t e d i n ways w h i c h c u r r e n t t h e o r i e s do not g i v e an adequate a c c o u n t o f . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v C h a p t e r 1 INTRODUCTION . 1 T h e o r e t i c a l and M e t h o d o l o g i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e 6 L o c a t i n g t h e Problem: An H i s t o r i c a l R e - c o n s t r u c t i o n . . . . 9 Normal and Abnormal as R e l e v a n t C a t e g o r i e s i n P s y c h i a t r y . . . . 14 Me t h o d o l o g y : S e l e c t i n g t h e F a m i l i e s 18 R e - f r a m i n g t h e C o n c e p t i o n o f N o r m a l i t y 32 Overview o f t h e C h a p t e r s 35 F o o t n o t e s 41 2 THEORIZING AND PERSPECTIVES ON NORMAL AND DISTURBED FAMILY . . 45 T h e o r i z i n g and Sensemaking 53 P e r s p e c t i v e s on Normal and D i s t u r b e d F a m i l y 58 I n t e r p r e t i n g I n t e r n a l R o l e C o n s i s t e n c y 63 C l a i m s About t h e Remote F a t h e r 70 I n t e r p r e t i n g Humor i n F a m i l y L i f e 81 Summary 95 F o o t n o t e s 97 3 THEORIZING AND IDEOLOGY: CONCEPTIONS OF PSYCHIATRY 100 T h e o r i z i n g and I d e o l o g y 100 C o n c e p t i o n s o f P s y c h i a t r y 107 The T r a d i t i o n o f P o s i t i v i s m : C o n s t r u c t i o n o f M e n t a l I l l n e s s as a C o n c r e t e Phenomenon 108 The S e a r c h f o r an A l t e r n a t e t o t h e P o s i t i v i s t A pproach. . 116 The A d u l t I d e o l o g y o f C h i l d h o o d as Omnipresent 138 Summary 149 F o o t n o t e s . 151 4 DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN NORMAL AND DISTURBED FAMILY: THE QUEST FOR AN OBJECTIVE SCIENCE 152 E m p i r i c a l N a t u r a l S c i e n c e and P s y c h i a t r y 152 The N o t i o n o f C o a l i t i o n s i n Normal and D i s t u r b e d F a m i l y . . . 167 S c i e n t i f i c Measurements o f C o a l i t i o n s i n Normal and D i s t u r b e d F a m i l i e s 172 L o c a t i n g C o a l i t i o n s i n E v e r y d a y F a m i l y L i f e 180 Summary 200 F o o t n o t e s 202 i v 5 'NORMAL TALK' AND PSYCHIATRIC REASONING 204 Summary 221 F o o t n o t e s 222 6 CONCLUSION 223 F u r t h e r Comments 230 BIBLIOGRAPHY 238 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I owe a debt o f g r a t i t u d e . t o my S u p e r v i s o r , P r o f e s s o r Roy T u r n e r , w i t h o u t whose g u i d a n c e t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n c o u l d n o t have been w r i t t e n . I thank h im f o r i n t r o d u c i n g me t o a v a l u a b l e new i n t e l l e c t u a l p e r s p e c t i v e , f o r h i s c o u n s e l , and f o r p a t i e n t l y s u p e r v i s i n g t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s . As w e l l , I would l i k e t o thank t h e members o f my Committee, P r o f e s s o r s A d r i a n M a r r i a g e and Kenneth S t o d d a r t f o r r e a d i n g and commenting on my work. A s p e c i a l thank y ou i s due t o P r o f e s s o r M a r r i a g e f o r h i s encouragement o v e r t h e . c o u r s e o f my g r a d u a t e c a r e e r . The f a m i l i e s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s s t u d y , and t h e members o f t h e P r o v i n c i a l H e a l t h Department who h e l p e d me t o meet t h e s e f a m i l i e s a r e t o be thanked f o r f a c i l i t a t i n g my r e s e a r c h . I owe an acknowledgement t o my c o l l e a g u e s i n t h e h e a l t h c a r e f i e l d f o r many h o u r s o f i n v a l u a b l e d i s c u s s i o n s , and f o r t h e i r comments on my work. I would l i k e t o acknowledge t h e f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e o f t h e C a n a d i a n Nurses F o u n d a t i o n . I am a l s o i n d e b t e d t o Ms. C o l l e e n C o l c l o u g h f o r h e r e x p e r t and r a p i d t y p i n g o f t h e m a n u s c r i p t . F i n a l l y , I must o f f e r t h a n k s t o my husband, R o b e r t , f o r h i s c o n s t a n t encouragement, and f o r b e a r i n g w i t h me p a t i e n t l y when my s p i r i t s were down and energy f l a g g e d . 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The t o p i c o f f a m i l y has commanded t h e a t t e n t i o n o f s c h o l a r s , d r a m a t i s t s , n o v e l i s t s , l a y p e r s o n s , p r a c t i t i o n e r s . " ' " P o p u l a r i n t e r e s t s and s c h o l a r l y works have f o c u s e d upon a v a r i e t y o f i s s u e s p e r t a i n i n g t o f a m i l y l i f e i n -c l u d i n g such m a t t e r s as how t h e f a m i l y i s c h a n g i n g , v a r i a t i o n s i n f a m i l y c o m p o s i t i o n , d i f f e r e n t c h i l d r e a r i n g p a t t e r n s , t h e i n f l u e n c e o f s o c i a l 2 f o r c e s such as t h e women's movement on t h e f a m i l y . That t h e s e a r e t h e t y p e s o f i s s u e s h e l d up t o s c r u t i n y i n f o r m s us t h a t t h e y a r e t a k e n t o be e x t r a o r d i n a r y , and t h a t t h e r e e x i s t s some o t h e r form o f f a m i l y l i f e , p r a c t i c e d by t h e m a j o r i t y , and t h e r e b y adjudged t o c o n s t i t u t e t h e p a r a -mount r e a l i t y . I n e v e r y d a y l i f e , t h e r o u t i n e goes u n q u e s t i o n e d , whereas phenomena o u t s i d e o f t h e o r d i n a r y a r e c o n s i d e r e d a n o m a l i e s t o be e x p l a i n e d , a n a l y z e d , and r e c k o n e d w i t h . These v a r i a t i o n s f r o m e v e r y d a y l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s l o s e t h e i r s t a t u s as a n o m a l i e s , however, when t h e y come t o be v i e w e d as common p r a c t i c e . I n w r i t i n g about emergent t r e n d s and what i s becoming p a r t o f t h e f u r n i t u r e o f e v e r y d a y l i f e , s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s p r o v i d e us w i t h an i n s t a n c e o f t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f n o r m a l i t y , i n so f a r as t h e y c o n t r i b u t e t o new and r e v i s e d d e f i n i t i o n s o f what s h o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d n o r m a l , and argue a g a i n s t t h e l a b e l i n g o f c e r t a i n phenomena as d e v i a n t . Take t h i s q u o t e , f o r example: The model o f t h e n u c l e a r f a m i l y cannot be a p p l i e d t o a c o n s i d e r a b l e and s i g n i f i c a n t p r o p o r t i o n o f t h o s e who a r e engaged i n a t l e a s t some o f t h e f a m i l y f u n c t i o n s . To ex-c l u d e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e s e s o - c a l l e d d e v i a n t f a m i l y p a t t e r n s because t h e y do n o t f i t t h e model o f what ought t o be i s t o i n f o r m one's t h e o r y o f t h e f a m i l y , n o t w i t h r e a l i t y , b u t w i t h i d e o l o g y ( S k o l n i c k and S k o l n i c k , 1971: 3 9 0 ) . 2 Some o f f e r o t h e r v i e w s about t h e f a m i l y : There seems l i t t l e doubt t h a t t h e modern f a m i l y i s i n t r o u b l e . W i t n e s s t h e f r e q u e n t s e p a r a t i o n s w i t h t h e i r conse-quences, the o n e - p a r e n t f a m i l y , t h e r e l u c t a n c e o f many a d u l t s t o have c h i l d r e n . Even i n many f a m i l i e s t h a t seem i n t a c t , p a r e n t s and c h i l d r e n s u f f e r from t h e i n s t a b i l i t y o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s t o each o t h e r , and from t h e i r t e n d e n c y t o blame e i t h e r t h e m s e l v e s o r one a n o t h e r f o r t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s t h e y e n c o u n t e r . Much has changed d u r i n g t h e l a s t few g e n e r a t i o n s . To use o n l y one example: U n d i s t u r b e d f a m i l y l i v i n g r e q u i r e s consen-sus i n r e g a r d t o a l l i m p o r t a n t i s s u e s ; o n l y t h i s p e r m i t s t h a t c o h e s i o n w h i c h remains u n d i s t u r b e d by t h e c e n t r i f u g a l f o r c e s coming from o u t s i d e t h e f a m i l y . These p r e s s u r e s were s m a l l when r e l i g i o u s and t r a d i t i o n a l b e l i e f s were s h a r e d by most o f s o c i e t y . Today t h e r e i s l i t t l e consensus i n s o c i e t y , and each f a m i l y member f e e l s e n t i t l e d t o d e v e l o p h i s o r h e r i n d i v i -d u a l i t y t o t h e f u l l e s t . But u n i q u e i n d i v i d u a l s a lways have had, and w i l l c o n t i n u e t o h a v e , a h a r d t i m e l i v i n g s m o o t h l y w i t h one a n o t h e r ( B e t t e l h e i m , 1980: 3 1 ) . One o f t h e predominant i n t e r e s t s o f t h o s e w r i t i n g about t h e f a m i l y i s t o come t o terms w i t h what i s normal and what i s d e v i a n t o r d i s t u r b e d . I n f a c t , some i n v e s t i g a t o r s a t t e m p t t o d e l i n e a t e t h e d i m e n s i o n s a l o n g w h i c h d i s t u r b e d and normal f a m i l y can be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . Doane a r g u e s : I t appears t h a t t h e r e a r e i n f a c t s e v e r a l d i m e n s i o n s a l o n g which d i s t u r b e d and normal f a m i l i e s may be r e l i a b l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . . . . There i s much e v i d e n c e t o s u p p o r t t h e v i e w t h a t d i s t u r b e d f a m i l i e s a r e marked by a p r e p o n d e r a n c e o f p a r e n t - c h i l d c o a l i -t i o n s and a c o r r e s p o n d i n g weak p a r e n t a l c o a l i t i o n , as w e l l as c o n f l i c t e d m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . . . ...normal f a m i l i e s have more f l e x i b i l e p a t t e r n s o f i n t e r -a c t i n g (1978: 3 7 2 ) . T h i s c o n c e p t i o n o f 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' presumes t h a t t h e s e a r e g i v e n s t a t e s and t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t o c o n s t r u c t f a c t u a l , o b j e c t i v e a c c o u n t s w h i c h p e r m i t d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between them. 'Normal f a m i l y ' i s seen as a phenomenon w h i c h e x i s t s beyond doubt. P a r s o n ' s a r t i c l e , "The Normal A m e r i c a n F a m i l y , " t y p i f i e s t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e : I t i s o f c o u r s e a commonplace t h a t t h e A m e r i c a n f a m i l y i s p r e d o m i n a n t l y and, i n a s e n s e , i n c r e a s i n g l y an u r b a n m i d d l e - c l a s s f a m i l y . There has i n d e e d been, i f n o t a v e r y g r e a t e q u a l i z a t i o n o f income (though t h e r e has been some i n th e p r e s e n t c e n t u r y ) , a v e r y s u b s t a n t i a l h o m o g e n i z a t i o n o f 3 p a t t e r n s o f l i f e i n t h e p o p u l a t i o n w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o a number o f t h i n g s . . . . I t can be s a i d t h a t , i n a sense t h a t has p r o b a b l y n e v e r e x i s t e d b e f o r e , i n a s o c i e t y t h a t i n most r e s p e c t s has under-gone a p r o c e s s o f v e r y e x t e n s i v e s t r u c t u r a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , t h e r e has emerged a r e m a r k a b l y u n i f o r m , b a s i c t y p e o f f a m i l y . I t i s u n i f o r m i n i t s k i n s h i p and h o u s e h o l d c o m p o s i t i o n i n t h e sense o f c o n f i n e m e n t o f i t s c o m p o s i t i o n t o members o f t h e n u c l e a r f a m i l y , w h i c h i s e f f e c t i v e a t any g i v e n s t a g e o f t h e f a m i l y l i f e c y c l e , and i n t h e o u t s i d e a c t i v i t i e s o f i t s members, e.g., j o b s f o r a d u l t men, some p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e l a b o r f o r c e f o r women, s c h o o l f o r c h i l d r e n , and v a r i o u s o t h e r t y p e s o f community p a r t i c i p a t i o n . . . . T h e r e i s one i n c r e a s i n g l y c o n s p i c u o u s and d i s t r e s s i n g e x c e p t i o n t o t h e g e n e r a l p a t t e r n , namely, t h e s i t u a t i o n o f t h e l o w e s t groups by most o f t h e s o c i o e c o n o m i c i n d i c e s , such as income, e d u c a t i o n , o c c u p a t i o n a l l e v e l , e t c . . . . I t h i n k i t r e a s o n a b l e t o s u g g e s t t h a t t h e b r o a d p a t t e r n o f t h e contemporary A m e r i c a n f a m i l y , s k e t c h e d above i n s t a t i s t i c a l t e r m s , f i t s t h i s f u n c t i o n a l a n a l y s i s . . . . The s h a r i n g o f t h e common h o u s e h o l d as t h e p l a c e t o " l i v e " w i t h a l l i t s i m p l i c a -t i o n s i s t h e f u n d a m e n t a l phenomenon - i t i s t h i s s h a r i n g w h i c h makes t h e n ormal n u c l e a r f a m i l y a d i s t i n c t i v e u n i t w h i c h cannot be c o n f u s e d w i t h any o t h e r s , b a s e d e i t h e r on k i n s h i p o r on o t h e r c r i t e r i a (1971: 399-400, 4 0 2 ) . I n r e b u t t a l t o t h i s c l a i m , S k o l n i c k and S k o l n i c k argue: In f a c t , n e i t h e r A m e r i c a n s o c i a l l i f e n o r A m e r i c a n f a m i l y l i f e i s so s t a b l e n o r t r a d i t i o n a l as P a r s o n s s u g g e s t s . The k i n s h i p p a t t e r n s p r e v a i l i n g among d i f f e r e n t e t h n i c g r o u p s , t h e p r e v a l e n c e o f d i v o r c e , t h e v a r i e t y o f c h i l d - r e a r i n g p a t t e r n s among t h e d i v o r c e d and among m i n o r i t y g r o u p s , t h e movement f o r women's l i b e r a t i o n , t h e openness o f s e x u a l d i s c u s s i o n and even b e h a v i o r i n t h e s u b u r b s , t h e new m o r a l i t i e s o f h i g h - s c h o o l and c o l l e g e - a g e y o u t h , t h e p o l i t i c i z a t i o n and m i l i t a n c y o f homo-s e x u a l s , and t h e open s e a r c h f o r new forms o f f a m i l y o r g a n i z a -t i o n a l l s u g g e s t a c o m p l e x i t y and d i v e r s i t y i n t h e A m e r i c a n f a m i l y and sex scene w h i c h P a r s o n i o n f u n c t i o n a l i s m b o t h o b s c u r e s and i g n o r e s . . . . Perhaps t h e most p e r n i c i o u s outcome o f t h i s i d e o l o g y i s t h e s t i g m a t i z a t i o n o f f a m i l i e s t h a t do n o t conform t o what i s , i n e f f e c t , a n o r m a t i v i s t model o f t h e n u c l e a r f a m i l y decked out i n p o s i t i v i s t a t t i r e (1971: 389, 390). C o n t r o v e r s i e s s u r r o u n d i n g t h e i s s u e seem d i r e c t e d towards problems o f d e f i n i t i o n about what c o n s t i t u t e s a normal f a m i l y . The n o r m a t i v i s t model may be r e f u t e d when o b s e r v e d s o c i a l phenomena which cannot j u s t i f i a b l y be l a b e l e d deviant', p e r h a p s because t h e y have emerged as common p r a c t i c e , do n o t conform t o t h i s model. Those s o c i a l a c t i o n s w h i c h have become popu-4 l a r i z e d , b u t w h i c h a r e n o t i n k e e p i n g w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l norms a r e l i k e l y t o be seen as w a r r a n t i n g r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t t h e y a r e i n d e e d 'normal'. I n t h e i r t h e o r i z i n g about n o r m a l i t y s o c i o l o g i s t s a r e a t t e m p t i n g t o make sense o f t h e i r d a i l y o b s e r v a t i o n s . These t h e o r i z i n g s a r e n o t b a s e d upon some body o f knowledge p e c u l i a r t o t h e d i s c i p l i n e , b u t a r e grounded i n e v e r y d a y a c t i v i t i e s e n c o u n t e r e d by them, and t h e y s h a r e w i t h o t h e r members o f t h e c u l t u r e commonsense n o t i o n s o f what i s t a k e n as 'normal' o r ' d i s -t u r b e d '/' d e v i a n t ' a t any g i v e n t i m e . L i k e o t h e r members o f t h e c u l t u r e , t h e y use t h e s e n o t i o n s t o e v a l u a t e and t o j u d g e e v e r y d a y a c t i v i t i e s . Y e t t h e s e commonsense b e l i e f s g a i n t h e s t a t u s o f f o r m a l t h e o r y once t h e y a r e documented by s o c i o l o g i s t s , and a r e t r e a t e d as f a c t u a l , a u t h o r i t a t i v e a c c o u n t s o f what g e t s c o u n t e d as 'normal' and ' d e v i a n t ' . These t h e o r i e s seem t o s h a r e a common f e a t u r e ; t h a t i s , normal and d e v i a n t a r e t a k e n as o b j e c t i v e l y d e s c r i b a b l e , and i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e sense making p r a c t i c e s o f t h e t h e o r i s t . I n o t h e r words, t h e entrenchment o f t h e s e f o r m a l t h e o r i e s i n commonsense r e a s o n i n g i s i g n o r e d . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h a t p e r s p e c t i v e w h i c h a t t e m p t s t o p r o v i d e f a c t u a l a c c o u n t s o f what n o r m a l i t y i s , o r t h e f e a t u r e s w h i c h s e t n o r m a l f a m i l i e s a p a r t from d i s t u r b e d ones, t h e c e n t r a l f o c u s o f my r e s e a r c h i s how I came, o v e r t h e c o u r s e o f t h i s s t u d y , t o r e f r a m e my way o f v i e w i n g n o r m a l i t y . The q u e s t i o n s t h a t became p r o b l e m a t i c f o r me, and my a t t e m p t s a t e x p l o r i n g them, a r e p i v o t a l t o t h i s work. So, w h i l e t h e s u b s t a n t i v e a r e a o f my r e s e a r c h c o u l d be seen as ' i n t e r a c t i o n p a t t e r n s i n n o r m a l f a m i l i e s ' , t h i s t h e s i s i s an a c c o u n t o f how I came t o r e - v i e w n o r m a l i t y f r o m t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f i n t e r p r e t i v e s o c i o l o g y . I n my work I t a k e q u i t e a d i f f e r e n t t a c k from t h o s e who a t t e m p t t o make f a c t u a l s t a t e m e n t s about what n o r m a l i t y i s , t o c o n s t r u c t t h e o r i e s about i t , o r t o seek c a u s a l e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r d e v i a n t 5 o r ' d i s t u r b e d ' b e h a v i o r . R a t h e r t h a n t r e a t i n g n o r m a l i t y as a g i v e n s t a t e o f a f f a i r s , i t i s seen as an i n t e r p r e t i v e scheme by w h i c h e v e r y d a y a c t i v i t i e s a r e u n d e r s t o o d , e v a l u a t e d , a s s e s s e d and o t h e r w i s e made sense o f . A s t a r t -i n g p o i n t f o r t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s t h o s e t h e o r i e s w h i c h c o n s i d e r communica-t i o n p a t t e r n s w i t h i n t h e f a m i l y t o p l a y a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n t h e d e v e l o p -ment and m a intenance o f p s y c h i a t r i c d i s t u r b a n c e s among i t s members. In t h e i n i t i a l phases o f my i n q u i r y i t became a p p a r e n t t o me t h a t i t i s w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f s e e i n g some f a m i l i e s as d i s t u r b e d o r d e v i a n t t h a t t h e n o t i o n o f n o r m a l i t y becomes i n t e l l i g i b l e , and so d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s t o p i c o f n e c e s s i t y meant a t t e n d i n g t o how we make judgements about ' d i s t u r b a n c e s i n communica-t i o n ' . T h i s t h e s i s q u e s t i o n s whether t h e f o r m a l t h e o r i e s o f s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s w h i c h d i s c u s s t h e phenomena o f 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' communication p a t t e r n s i n f a m i l i e s , g i v e an adequate a c c o u n t o f how p r a c -t i c a l d e c i s i o n s a r e made about t h e v e r y phenomena t h e y seek t o d e s c r i b e . To a d d r e s s t h i s q u e s t i o n , I use d a t a from f a m i l i e s t o ask i f t h e t h e o r i e s t e l l us what we need t o know i n o r d e r t o a r r i v e a t d e c i s i o n s about t h e s e f a m i l i e s . The d a t a f r o m f a m i l i e s a r e t h e r e f o r e used as a way o f q u e s t i o n -i n g t h e s e f o r m a l t h e o r i e s . A c e n t r a l argument i n t h i s t h e s i s i s t h a t t h e r e i s a gap between t h e f o r m a l t h e o r i e s and p r a c t i c a l d e c i s i o n making i n e v e r y d a y l i f e . That i s , t h e t h e o r i e s w i l l n e v e r t e l l us how we a r r i v e a t c o n c l u s i o n s , b ecause t h o s e who e n u n c i a t e t h e t h e o r y f a i l t o t a k e i n t o a c count t h e t a c i t knowledge w h i c h i s b r o u g h t t o b e a r upon p r a c t i c a l d e c i s i o n making. The r e a d e r w i l l n o t i c e t h a t i t i s n o t w i t h i n t h e scope o f t h i s t h e s i s t o s t u d y t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e c o n c e p t s o f n o r m a l i t y and a b n o r m a l i t y by p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' i n t h e i r d a i l y p r a c t i c e . That i s , t h i s t h e s i s w i l l n o t d i s c u s s how p r a c t i t i o n e r s s e p a r a t e 'normal' from ' d i s t u r b e d ' p e o p l e . R a t h e r , 6 t h e f o c u s o f my work i s t o examine t h e t h e o r e t i c a l f o r m u l a t i o n s o f 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' f a m i l y ^ and t o show t h a t t h e s e t h e o r e t i c a l f o r m u l a t i o n s do n o t g i v e s p e c i f i c i n s t r u c t i o n s f o r t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f 'normal f a m i l y ' . A l t h o u g h t h e o r i z i n g about n o r m a l i t y and a b n o r m a l i t y i s i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d w i t h t h e n o t i o n o f a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e c o n c e p t , t h i s t h e s i s d e m o n s t r a t e s t h a t t h e t h e o r y f a i l s t o t e l l us what we need t o know i n o r d e r t o i d e n t i f y f a m i l i e s as n o r m a l . T h e o r e t i c a l and M e t h o d o l o g i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e T h i s t h e s i s i s g u i d e d by a t h e o r e t i c a l and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e 5 w h i c h m a i n t a i n s t h a t a l l s o c i a l phenomena a r e p r o d u c e d by t h e o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e s o f i n d i v i d u a l s ( G a r f i n k e l , 1967), and s o c i a l c a t e g o r i e s such as n ormal and d i s t u r b e d f a m i l y a r e p r o d u c t s o f t h e c o n c e r t e d a c t i v i t i e s o f members o f s o c i e t y . By t h i s I mean t h a t 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' a r e n o t t a k e n t o be d i s t i n c t i v e s o c i a l f a c t s w h i c h p r e - e x i s t i n t h e s o c i a l s t r u c -t u r e i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e i n t e r p r e t i v e schemes o f i n d i v i d u a l s o c i e t a l members, and w h i c h d e t e r m i n e what t h e o b s e r v e r does i n d e s c r i b i n g and c l a s s i f y i n g t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s . I n s t e a d , d e f i n i t i o n s o f n o r m a l i t y and d i s t u r b a n c e a r e c o n s t r u c t e d t h r o u g h t h e i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o c e s s e s o f i n t e r a c t i o n , and t h e s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s t u d y i n g n o r m a l i t y i s i n v o l v e d i n i t s p r o d u c t i o n . The t a c i t knowledge o f members o f s o c i e t y f u n c t i o n s as a scheme o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by w h i c h we a s s e s s , j u d g e , and e v a l u a t e a c t i v i t i e s i n our e v e r y d a y l i v e s . I t i s argued t h a t t h e o r i s t s who t r e a t t h e n o t i o n s o f 'normal' and ' d i s -t u r b e d ' as o b j e c t i v e f a c t s w h i c h a r e i d e n t i f i a b l e and d e s c r i b a b l e f a i l t o t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t t h e s o c i a l l y p r o d u c e d c h a r a c t e r o f t h e s e phenomena. T h i s t h e s i s r e c e i v e s i t s w a r r a n t from t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l p e r s p e c t i v e o f i n t e r p r e t i v e s o c i o l o g y , i n p a r t i c u l a r , ethnomethodology. A l t h o u g h t h e works subsumed under t h e r u b r i c o f ethnomethodology d e m o n s t r a t e i n c r e a s i n g v a r i e t y ( T u r n e r , 1974: 7 ) , t h e c e n t r a l c o n c e r n o f t h i s e n t e r p r i s e i s w i t h 7 t h e phenomenon o f p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n i n g o r sense making. How sense i s made i n t h e r o u t i n e a c t i v i t i e s o f our d a i l y l i v e s i s common t o a l l v e r s i o n s . A main t e n e t o f ethnomethodology i s t h a t t h e s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t i n e v i t a b l y t r a d e s on h e r member's knowledge i n coming t o r e c o g n i z e and make sense o f a c t i v i t i e s t h a t members a r e engaged i n ( T u r n e r , 1974: 204). The t a c i t knowledge o f t h e s o c i o l o g i s t i s seen as i n t e g r a l t o any k i n d o f a n a l y s i s ( C i c o u r e l , 1976: 7) and t h e s o c i o l o g i s t must make v i s i b l e t o t h e r e a d e r t h i s t a c i t knowledge "when d e s c r i b i n g o r r e p o r t i n g t h e r e s u l t s o f h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n s " ( C i c o u r e l , 1976: 15). W i t h i n t h e p a s t t w e n t y y e a r s s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s committed t o t h e i n t e r -p r e t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e have h e l d up f o r q u e s t i o n i n g t h e b a s i c p r e m i s e s o f o r t h o d o x s o c i o l o g y , e x e m p l i f i e d i n Durkheim's, The R u l e s o f S o c i o l o g i c a l  Method (1938). I n s h o r t , I see as a c e n t r a l f e a t u r e o f t h i s approach t h e n o t i o n t h a t t h e methods o f n a t u r a l s c i e n c e , as t h i s was u n d e r s t o o d i n t h e l a t e n i n e t e e n t h and e a r l y t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r i e s , a r e a l s o a p p l i c a b l e i n t h e s o c i a l f i e l d (Durkheim, 1938: x i i i ) . ^ Durkheim i n s t r u c t s us t o t r e a t s o c i a l f a c t s as ' t h i n g s ' which a r e o b j e c t i v e l y i d e n t i f i a b l e . That t h e s e e x i s t and d e t e r m i n e what i s a v a i l a b l e t o t h e o b s e r v e r , i s t a k e n as a g i v e n . The commonsense r e a s o n i n g o f d a i l y l i f e i s seen as u n r e l a t e d t o f a c t s f o r m u l a t e d by t h e s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t -- we c o u l d say t h a t i t i s t h e p r e r o g a t i v e o f t h e s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t t o c o r r e c t commonsense r e a s o n i n g . " I t " ( s c i e n c e ) , argues Durkheim "needs c o n c e p t s t h a t a d e q u a t e l y e x p r e s s t h i n g s as t h e y a c t u a l l y a r e and n o t as e v e r y d a y l i f e f i n d s i t u s e f u l t o c o n c e i v e them" (1938: 4 3 ) . The s o c i o l o g i s t i s t h e r e f o r e engaged i n f i n d i n g t h e ' t r u e s o c i a l r e a l i t y ' -- t h a t t h e r e a r e r e a l f a c t s 'out t h e r e ' w a i t i n g t o be f ound and d e s c r i b e d i s beyond doubt. I t s t a n d s t o r e a s o n t h a t e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h w h i c h r e c e i v e s i t s w a r r a n t from t h e o r t h o d o x p e r s p e c t i v e does n o t t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t t h e s o c i a l l y con-8 s t r u c t e d c h a r a c t e r o f t h e phenomena i t s t u d i e s . The commonsense r e a s o n i n g s o f b o t h a c t o r and o b s e r v e r a r e n o t o f c o n c e r n t o s o c i o l o g i s t s i n r e c o r d -i n g t h e i r o b j e c t i v e f a c t s . I n r e s p o n s e t o t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , C i c o u r e l a r g u e s : The problems t a k e n as p o i n t s o f d e p a r t u r e a r e assumed t o be " o b v i o u s " i n s t a n c e s o f t h e " r e a l w o r l d . " Any s o c i o l o g i s t , i n -s i s t i n g t h a t t h e s t u d y o f s o c i a l o r d e r and d i s o r d e r , s o c i e t y , o r community, must b e g i n w i t h an e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e p r o p e r t i e s o f r o u t i n e p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s i n e v e r y d a y l i f e , i s n o t l i k e l y t o meet th e a p p r o v a l o f c o l l e a g u e s who have a l r e a d y d e c i d e d what t h e " r e a l w o r l d " i s a l l a b out, and t h e y have been s t u d y i n g " i t " f o r a l o n g t i m e . . . . ...The s t r u c t u r a l - f u n c t i o n a l i s t s . . . t a k e f o r g r a n t e d t h e e x i s -t e n c e o f a c t i v i t i e s t h e y d e s c r i b e f o r m a l l y and presume no f u r t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n i s n e c e s s a r y as t o how t h e y come t o know t h e i r e x i s -t e n c e . The a b s t r a c t v o c a b u l a r y d i s p l a c e s b o t h t h e o b j e c t i f i c a -t i o n and d e s c r i p t i o n o f d a y - t o - d a y s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n from w h i c h i n f e r e n c e s about s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s a r e made. The i s s u e i s some-t i m e s r e s o l v e d by t h e use o f i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c a c c o u n t s r e q u i r i n g t h e i n d u l g e n c e o f t h e r e a d e r i n what "any s o p h i s t i c a t e d s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t knows".... But... t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n c e between what i s c l a i m e d as o b s e r v e d , and t h e language used t o d e s c r i b e o b j e c t s and e v e n t s i s n e v e r c l e a r t o t h e r e a d e r n o r a v a i l a b l e f o r i n -dependent v e r i f i c a t i o n . The a c c o u n t s a r e always t r u n c a t e d e x p r e s s i o n s t h e r e a d e r must f i l l i n t o make sense o f presumed i n t e n d e d meanings. The s t a n d a r d r e s p o n s e t o t h i s i s s u e i s t h a t i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o p r e s e n t t h e r e a d e r w i t h such d e t a i l . T h i s answer p r e s u p p o s e s t h a t d e t a i l s o f d e c o d i n g and e n c o d i n g d e s c r i p -t i o n s and q u e s t i o n n a i r e s a r e t e c h n i c a l problems ....the p r o b l e m i s n o t s i m p l y one o f b e t t e r methods o r a b e t t e r t e c h n o l o g y . I t i s a p r o b l e m r e q u i r i n g a more e l e g a n t t h e o r e t i c a l a p p a r a t u s f o r making sense o f what we have and a r e d o i n g m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y , ' a n d f o r showing how s u b s t a n t i v e s t u d i e s change a c c o r d i n g l y [ ? ] (1976: 3, 4-5). The p o i n t s r a i s e d by C i c o u r e l a r e c e n t r a l t o t h i s t h e s i s ; I q u e s t i o n how; we a r r i v e a t d e c i s i o n s about t h o s e f e a t u r e s i n f a m i l y l i f e w h i c h p e r m i t us t o make d e f i n i t e s t a t e m e n t s about 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' f a m i l y . I argue t h a t s t u d i e s w h i c h a t t e m p t t o p r o v i d e us w i t h ' s c i e n t i f i c ' f i n d i n g s f a i l t o make v i s i b l e t o . t h e r e a d e r t h e commonsense r e a s o n i n g o f t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' i n a r r i v i n g a t d e c i s i o n s about t h e c a t e g o r i e s i n q u e s t i o n . F i n d i n g s a r e t r e a t e d as ' o b j e c t i v e ' , and i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s sense making p r a c t i c e s . An a b i d i n g c o n c e r n o f ethnomethodology i s t h a t t h e " c r i t i c a l t a s k o f t h e r e s e a r c h e r i s to. show th e r e a d e r how t h e r e s e a r c h 9 ..materials' a r e always u n d e r s t o o d by r e f e r e n c e t o u n s t a t e d and seen (but u n n o t i c e d ) b ackground e x p e c t a n c i e s b o t h members and o b s e r v e r s , always employ t o r e c o g n i z e and t o . u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s " ( C i c o u r e l , 1976: 15). I s h a l l now d i s c u s s how I came t o s t u d y t h e t o p i c o f n o r m a l i t y . I n t h e r e m a i n d e r o f t h i s c h a p t e r I s h a l l f a m i l i a r i z e t h e r e a d e r w i t h t h e back-ground from w h i c h I came, and my i n i t i a l a t t e m p t s t o i d e n t i f y and d e s c r i b e t h e i n t e r a c t i o n p a t t e r n s i n 'normal f a m i l i e s ' . I t i s a g a i n s t t h i s b a c k g r o u n d t h a t t h e n o t i o n s 'normal' and 'abnormal' became r e l e v a n t c a t e g o r i e s f o r me. But t h e l e n s e s t h r o u g h w h i c h I had p e r c e i v e d t h e phenomenon o f n o r m a l i t y c o u l d n o t r e m a i n t h e same -- new q u e s t i o n s became p r o b l e m a t i c , t h e e x p l o r a -t i o n o f w h i c h l e d t o no l e s s t h a n a s h i f t f rom t h e way I had u n d e r s t o o d t h e c o n c e p t . L o c a t i n g t h e P r o blem: An H i s t o r i c a l R e - c o n s t r u c t i o n B e f o r e embarking upon t h i s r e - c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e p a s t , i t s h o u l d be u n d e r s t o o d , as C a r r p o i n t s o u t , t h a t " h i s t o r y c o n s i s t s e s s e n t i a l l y i n s e e i n g t h e p a s t t h r o u g h t h e eyes o f t h e p r e s e n t and i n t h e l i g h t o f i t s p r o b l e m s " (1962: 22 ) . So t h i s r e - c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e p a s t i s seen t h r o u g h t h e eyes o f t h e p r e s e n t ; I am g o i n g back i n t i m e t o r e - t r a c e my j o u r n e y , b u t t h i s i s as I see t h i s j o u r n e y now. I am r e f l e c t i n g upon what l e d me t o t h e p o i n t t h a t I am now a t . I am t h e r e f o r e n o t r e c o r d i n g my d i r e c t e x p e r i e n c e s a t t h a t t i m e -- t h e s e a r e no l o n g e r a v a i l a b l e t o me. I can o n l y g i v e an a c c o u n t o f how t h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s appear t o me now. We c o u l d ask t h e q u e s t i o n , why s t u d y n o r m a l i t y ? The n o t i o n o f n o r m a l b r i n g s t o mind t h a t w h i c h i s mundane, r o u t i n e , common and t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d by a l l o f us i n t h e e v e r y d a y c o u r s e o f our l i v e s . Y e t , a n o m a l i e s c o u l d n o t be d e s c r i b e d and e x p l a i n e d as a n o m a l i e s , and would have no meaning i f t h e r e were no n o t i o n o f what i s n o r m a l , so t h e o r i z i n g about n o r m a l i t y i s a 10 s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e f o r o r d e r i n g and r e n d e r i n g our w o r l d s e n s i b l e and i n t e l l i g i b l e . Once e v e n t s a r e c a t e g o r i z e d as n o r m a l , t h e y can be d i s -m i s s e d , and we a r e t h e n a b l e t o c a r r y on w i t h l i f e as u s u a l . I n coming t o r e c o g n i z e a c t i v i t i e s as n o r m a l , we a r e i m p l i c i t l y c o n t r a s t i n g them w i t h some o t h e r c o n c e p t s w h i c h i m p l y t h e i r o p p o s i t e . A u s t i n s u p p o r t s t h e v i e w t h a t some terms can o n l y be u n d e r s t o o d i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i r n e g a t i o n s : . . . ' R e a l ' i s what we may c a l l a t r o u s e r - w o r d . I t i s u s u a l l y t h o u g h t , and I dare say u s u a l l y r i g h t l y t h o u g h t , t h a t what one might c a l l t h e a f f i r m a t i v e use o f a t e r m i s b a s i c -t h a t , t o u n d e r s t a n d :'x_' , we need t o know what i t i s t o be x, o r t o be an x, and t h a t knowing t h i s a p p r i s e s us o f what i t i s n o t t o be x.> n o t t o be an x_. But w i t h ' r e a l ' ... i t i s t h e n e g a t i v e use t h a t wears t h e t r o u s e r s . That i s , a d e f i n i t e sense a t t a c h e s t o t h e a s s e r t i o n t h a t s o m e t h i n g i s r e a l , a r e a l s u c h - a n d - s u c h , o n l y i n t h e l i g h t o f a s p e c i f i c way i n w h i c h i t might be, o r might have been, n o t r e a l . 'A r e a l duck' d i f f e r s f r om t h e s i m p l e 'a duck' o n l y i n t h a t i t i s used t o e x c l u d e v a r i o u s ways o f b e i n g n o t a r e a l duck - b u t a dummy, a t o y , a p i c t u r e , a decoy (1964: 7 0 ) . Douglas' d i s c u s s i o n o f d e v i a n c e and r e s p e c t a b i l i t y f u r t h e r e l u c i d a t e s t h i s p o i n t : D e v i a n c e and r e s p e c t a b i l i t y a r e n e c e s s a r i l y l i n k e d t o g e t h e r i n t h e s o c i a l meanings o f t h e terms as used by t h e members o f our s o c i e t y i n t h e i r e v e r y d a y l i v e s : when we o b s e r v e and a n a l y z e t h e m o r a l communications i n o u r e v e r y d a y l i v e s we f i n d t h a t t h e s o c i a l meanings o f e i t h e r d e v i a n c e ( i m m o r a l i t y ) o r r e s p e c t a -b i l i t y ( m o r a l i t y ) can be a d e q u a t e l y u n d e r s t o o d o n l y i f r e f e r e n c e , whether i m p l i c i t o r e x p l i c i t , i s made t o t h e o t h e r , i t s o p p o s i t e (1970: 3-4). T h i s q u o t a t i o n r e s p o n d s i n p a r t t o my q u e s t i o n -- i s n o r m a l i t y w o r t h y o f s t u d y ? My i n t e r e s t i n t h i s phenomenon can be e x p l a i n e d i n terms o f my background i n a d i s c i p l i n e ( h e a l t h c a r e ) w h i c h o r i e n t e d me t o c o n c e p t s s u c h as ' h e a l t h ' and ' i l l n e s s ' , ' d i s t u r b e d ' and 'normal'. I n the d i s c i p l i n e o f h e a l t h c a r e t h e t e r m normal i s n o t always used when we a r e u s i n g t h e n o t i o n o f n o r m a l i t y . I t c o u l d be argued t h a t normal and abnormal b e l o n g t o a f a m i l y o f t e r m s , and f i n d e x p r e s s i o n i n d i f f e r e n t s e m a n t i c v a r i e t i e s such as ' w e l l ' and ' s i c k ' , 'non-impaired', and ' i m p a i r e d ' , ' s e l f r e a l i z i n g ' and 'not s e l f 11 r e a l i z i n g ' , ' n u r t u r i n g ' and ' t r o u b l e d ' , and t h e l i k e . I n u s i n g t h e s e t e r m s , we are always making r e f e r e n c e t o some n o r m a l , n a t u r a l s t a t e . So, t h e r e i s a f a m i l y o f terms o f wh i c h normal i s a member, and t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f n o r m a l i t y a p p l i e s t o a l l t h e terms i n t h a t f a m i l y . I t was w i t h i n t h e con-t e x t o f t h e h e a l t h c a r e system t h a t t h e power o f t h e s e terms became a p p a r e n t t o me. Sometime p r i o r t o r e s u m i n g g r a d u a t e s t u d i e s I worked w i t h f a m i l i e s and i n d i v i d u a l s i n a p s y c h i a t r i c f a c i l i t y . I n w o r k i n g w i t h i n d i v i d u a l s • a n d f a m i l i e s who were h a v i n g t r o u b l e s , I c o u l d o n l y make sense o f t h e s e t r o u b l e s by i n v o k i n g some n o t i o n o f what n o r m a l would be l i k e -- n o t some u n i v e r s a l n o t i o n o f normal p e r h a p s , b u t what would be normal f o r t h e s e i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s . S i m i l a r l y , t r o u b l e s were r e c o g n i z a b l e by t h e s e i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s as ' t r o u b l e s ' , because t h e y had some v i e w o f l i f e w i t h o u t t h e s e t r o u b l e s . These c o n c e p t s p r o v i d e a scheme f o r making sense o f what i s o b s e r v e d i n e v e r y d a y l i f e and i n C l i n i c a l p r a c t i c e . P r o f e s s i o n a l s r e l y upon a v a r i e t y o f f o r m a l t h e o r i e s t o h e l p them t o o r g a n i z e t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n s so t h a t t h e y can manage t h e r o u t i n e s o f t h e i r p r a c t i c e . I came t o examine i n some de p t h t h e o r i e s about ' t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s ' . B ateson's (1956) t h e o r y o f t h e d o u b l e b i n d , f o r example, was o f some i n t e r e s t t o me. I s h a l l d i s c u s s t h i s t h e o r y l a t e r , b u t i n t h e meantime, s u f f i c e i t t o say t h a t h i s work, and subsequent works w h i c h have emerged w i t h i n t h i s p a r a d i g m have p u t f o r w a r d a t h e o r y o f s c h i z o p h r e n i a n o t i n terms o f i n t r a -p s y c h i c c o n f l i c t s o r b i o m e d i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n s a t t h e i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l , b u t t h r o u g h a n a l y s i s o f communication i n t h e f a m i l y . O t h e r t h e o r i e s about g t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s were o f e q u a l i n t e r e s t t o me. Some o f t h e s e w r i t i n g s g i v e v e r y s p e c i f i c i n s t r u c t i o n s as t o how t o see t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s . a n d how t o see u n t r o u b l e d o r n u r t u r i n g ones. V i r g i n i a S a t i r , a w e l l known and 12 r e s p e c t e d f a m i l y t h e r a p i s t s t a t e s : I n my y e a r s as a f a m i l y t h e r a p i s t , I have found t h a t f o u r a s p e c t s o f f a m i l y l i f e keep p o p p i n g up i n t h e t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s who come t o me f o r h e l p . They a r e -t h e f e e l i n g s and i d e a s one has about h i m s e l f , w h i c h I c a l l s e l f - w o r t h ; t h e ways p e o p l e work out t o make meaning w i t h one a n o t h e r , w h i c h I c a l l c o mmunication; t h e r u l e s p e o p l e use f o r how t h e y s h o u l d f e e l and a c t , w h i c h e v e n t u a l l y d e v e l o p i n t o what I c a l l t h e f a m i l y s y s tem; and t h e way p e o p l e r e l a t e t o o t h e r p e o p l e and i n s t i t u t i o n s o u t -s i d e t h e f a m i l y , w h i c h I c a l l t h e l i n k t o s o c i e t y . No m a t t e r what k i n d o f p r o b l e m f i r s t l e d a f a m i l y i n t o my o f f i c e - whether a n a g g i n g w i f e o r an u n f a i t h f u l husband, a d e l i n q u e n t son o r a s c h i z o p h r e n i c d a u g h t e r - I soon found t h a t t h e p r e s c r i p t i o n was t h e same. To r e l i e v e t h e i r f a m i l y p a i n , some way had t o be f o u n d t o change t h o s e f o u r key f a c t o r s . I n a l l o f t h e s e t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s I n o t i c e d t h a t -s e l f - w o r t h was low; c o mmunication was i n d i r e c t , vague, and n o t r e a l l y h o n e s t ; r u l e s were r i g i d , inhuman, n o n n e g o t i a b l e , and e v e r l a s t i n g ; and t h e l i n k i n g t o s o c i e t y was f e a r f u l , p l a c a t i n g , and b l a m i n g . F o r t u n a t e l y , I have a l s o had t h e " j o y o f knowing some u n t r o u b l e d and n u r t u r i n g f a m i l i e s - e s p e c i a l l y i n my more r e c e n t workshops t o h e l p f a m i l i e s d e v e l o p more f u l l y t h e i r p o t e n t i a l as human b e i n g s . I n t h e s e v i t a l and n u r t u r i n g f a m i l i e s , I c o n s i s t e n t l y see a d i f f e r -e n t p a t t e r n -s e l f - w o r t h i s h i g h ; c ommunication i s d i r e c t , c l e a r , s p e c i f i c , and h o n e s t ; r u l e s a r e f l e x i b l e , human, a p p r o p r i a t e , and s u b j e c t t o change; and t h e l i n k i n g t o s o c i e t y i s open and h o p e f u l (1972: 3-4). As I s h a l l be d i s c u s s i n g f o r m a l t h e o r i e s about t h e f a m i l y i n some dep t h l a t e r i t i s enough a t t h i s p o i n t t o say t h a t t h e y g i v e d i r e c t i o n f o r i n t e r p r e t i n g f a m i l y b e h a v i o r s and f o r l o c a t i n g i n t e r a c t i o n s w h i c h c o u l d j u s t i -13 f i a b l y be t a k e n as r e l a t e d t o t h e i d e n t i f i e d p a t i e n t ' s o r f a m i l y ' s p r o b l e m s . From a r e a d i n g o f t h e f o r m a l t h e o r i e s , i t seemed o b v i o u s t o me t h a t i t was p o s s i b l e t o come up w i t h s t a t e m e n t s about who needed h e l p , and why t h e y needed h e l p . The c a t e g o r y o f d i s t u r b e d f a m i l y came t o be seen by me as s o m e t h i n g d e f i n i t e , s o m e t h i n g known and i d e n t i f i a b l e . We n o t e from S a t i r ' s words t h a t i t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e f o r us t o make d e f i n i t e s t a t e m e n t s about t h e c a t e g o r y o f u n t r o u b l e d o r n u r t u r i n g f a m i l i e s . That t h e r e i s a d i f f e r e n c e between t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s o f f a m i l i e s seemed t o me t o be beyond doubt. F u r t h e r m o r e , i t seemed a t t h e t i m e t h a t i t was e s s e n t i a l t o f i n d out about normal f a m i l i e s -- 'how t h e y r e a l l y a r e ' , i n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d ' t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s ' . That t h e r e a r e n o r m a l f a m i l i e s and n a t u r a l f a m i l y development was t a k e n - f o r - g r a n t e d by me. There i s t h e b e l i e f among some t h e o r i s t s , as e x p r e s s e d by H a l e y , t h a t , i f .we a r e t o u n d e r s t a n d ' t r o u b l e d ' f a m i l i e s we s h o u l d s t u d y t h e 'normal' o r ' n a t u r a l ' : I f one a c c e p t s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f a d e v e l o p m e n t a l p r o c e s s i n f a m i l i e s o v e r t i m e , he d i s c o v e r s a t once how l i t t l e i n f o r -m a t i o n t h e r e i s about t h e l i f e c y c l e o f f a m i l i e s . L o n g i t u d i n a l s t u d i e s b a s e d on o b s e r v a t i o n o f t h e f a m i l y have n o t been done. Only s e l f - r e p o r t s u r v e y s , i n w h i c h f a m i l y members a r e asked about t h e i r l i v e s , a r e a v a i l a b l e , and t h e y have p r o v e d t o be h i g h l y u n r e l i a b l e . What o t h e r ' i n f o r m a t i o n we have i s b a s e d upon f a m i l i e s e n t e r i n g t h e r a p y when t h e y a r e i n t r o u b l e , and so we have o b s e r v e d d i f f e r e n t s t a g e s i n t h e f a m i l y c y c l e w i t h -out knowing what came b e f o r e o r what n a t u r a l l y f o l l o w s . The c l i n i c i a n who w i s h e s t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e n a t u r a l development o f f a m i l i e s i n o r d e r t o g u i d e h i s s t r a t e g y f i n d s h i m s e l f l a r g e l y i g n o r a n t o f t h i s p r o c e s s and l a b o r s under t h e burden o f myths about how f a m i l i e s ought t o be r a t h e r t h a n how t h e y a r e (1973: 4 2 ) . Not o n l y i s H a l e y a c c e p t i n g t h e i d e a t h a t we can f i n d f a m i l i e s who a r e ' d e v e l o p i n g n a t u r a l l y ' b u t he makes t h e p o i n t t h a t knowing about n a t u r a l f a m i l y l i f e i s r e l e v a n t t o t h e p r o c e s s o f p s y c h o t h e r a p y . T h i s knowledge s u p p o s e d l y g u i d e s t h e s t r a t e g y o f t h e c l i n i c i a n i n w o r k i n g w i t h p e o p l e who have t r o u b l e s . The c o n c e p t s 'normal', ' d i s t u r b e d ' , ' h e a l t h ' and ' i l l n e s s ' a r e p o w e r f u l 14 c a t e g o r i e s i n p r o f e s s i o n s c h a r g e d w i t h t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f h e l p i n g p e o p l e w i t h p h y s i c a l o r e m o t i o n a l p r o b l e m s . I n f a c t , any c u r s o r y g l a n c e a t t h e l i t e r a t u r e w i l l i n f o r m t h e r e a d e r t h a t t h e s e a r e r e l e v a n t c a t e g o r i e s i n t h e d i s c i p l i n e o f p s y c h i a t r y , and t h a t t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s a r e t h o u g h t t o have d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . L e t me i n t r o d u c e some w r i t i n g s w h i c h r e f l e c t t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e . T h i s i s n o t an e x h a u s t i v e r e v i e w o f t h e m a t e r i a l s , and i s meant o n l y t o a c q u a i n t t h e r e a d e r with'some p r e v a i l i n g v i e w s o f s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s as w e l l as p s y c h o t h e r a p i s t s . Normal and Abnormal as R e l e v a n t C a t e g o r i e s i n P s y c h i a t r y A number o f s c h o l a r s have argued t h a t t h e c o n c e p t s o f 'normal' and 'abnormal' a r e c e n t r a l t o t h e p r a c t i c e o f p s y c h i a t r y . Devereux s t a t e s : Each s c i e n c e has i t s key c o n c e p t , o r p a i r o f key con-c e p t s , whose p r e c i s e d e f i n i t i o n i s t h e p r i n c i p a l p r o b l e m o f t h a t s c i e n c e and whose a n a l y s i s i s t h e b e s t i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h a t f i e l d o f i n q u i r y . . . . W e s u g g e s t t h a t t h e p a i r e d c o n c e p t s " n o r m a l " and " a b n o r m a l " a r e t h e key c o n c e p t s o f p s y c h i a t r y , and t h a t t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the e x a c t l o c u s o f t h e boundary between them i s t h e c r u c i a l p r o b l e m o f p s y c h i a t r y , r e g a r d l e s s o f whether we v i e w p s y c h i a t r y as a " p u r e " o r as an " a p p l i e d " s c i e n c e . Y e t , even though a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s w r i t e a g r e a t d e a l about t h e i r key c o n c e p t , t h e p r o b l e m o f what i s " n o r m a l " and what i s " a b n o r m a l " has r e c e i v e d r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e s y s t e m a t i c a t t e n t i o n i n r e c e n t p s y c h i a t r i c l i t e r a t u r e . T h i s i s u n f o r -t u n a t e , s i n c e t h e p r o b l e m i s f a r from h a v i n g b e i n g s a t i s f a c -t o r i l y s o l v e d (1971: 2 3 ) . From Devereux's p o i n t o f v i e w , n o t o n l y does t h e p r o b l e m o f what i s 'normal', and what i s 'abnormal' d e s e r v e t o be a d d r e s s e d , b u t t h e e x a c t l o c u s o f t h e boundary between them needs t o be d e t e r m i n e d . I u n d e r s t a n d Devereux t o be s a y i n g t h a t t h e s e phenomena a r e d e f i n a b l e and d e s c r i b a b l e , and t h a t i t i s o f some i m p o r t t o p s y c h i a t r y t o make e x p l i c i t s t a t e m e n t s about them. I n v e s t i g a t o r s such as Henry who a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h p r o v i d i n g a l t e r n a -t i v e s t o p s y c h o a n a l y t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f m e n t a l i l l n e s s , d i s p l a y an i n t e r e s t i n t h e e l u c i d a t i o n o f t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r u c t u r e s w h i c h u n d e r l i e 15 our e v a l u a t i o n s o f 'normal' and 'abnormal'. I n i n t r o d u c i n g h i s book, he s t a t e s : T h i s book i s an a t t e m p t t o show how much more d a t a i s needed i n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d p a t h o g e n e s i s and how t h a t d a t a can be o b t a i n e d and used. I t i s , f u r t h e r m o r e , t h e b e g i n n i n g o f what I hope w i l l , i n t h e n e x t few y e a r s , become a d e s c r i p -t i o n o f t h e f u n d a m e n t a l i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r u c t u r e s u n d e r l y i n g e v a l u a t i o n s o f n ormal and abnormal. I ask such q u e s t i o n s a s : What i s our c o n cept o f an i n f a n t ? How do we t h i n k about an i n -f a n t , and what i s t h e r e about our n o t i o n s o f i n f a n c y t h a t causes us t o s a y , "She i s a w o n d e r f u l mother," o r she i s a " t e r r i b l e mother"? What i s our c o n c e p t i o n o f h o u s e k e e p i n g t h a t l e a d s us t o s a y , "She r e a l l y does/does n o t know how t o keep house." We c o n s t a n t l y make i n s t a n t a n e o u s , i n t u i t i v e judgements about t h e m e n t a l s t a t u s o f o t h e r p e o p l e , about t h e " c o r r e c t " and t h e " b i z a r r e " , b u t what i s t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e s e i n -t u i t i o n s , and how v a l i d a r e t h e y f o r j u d g i n g s a n i t y ? What i s t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r u c t u r e o f s a n i t y i t s e l f ? We know t h a t i t has s omething t o do w i t h our u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f t i m e and space t o o b j e c t s and p e o p l e , and w i t h t h e - p e r s o n ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e and w i t h o b j e c t s , e t c . We know t h a t i t has s o m e t h i n g t o do w i t h u n d e r s t a n d i n g c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s , l i k e t h a t between i n f a n t and a d u l t , f o r example; w i t h p e r c e i v i n g t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n o r t h e c o n s i s t e n c y i n b e h a v i o r and l a n g u a g e , and so on. I n t h i s book I a t t e m p t a c l o s e a n a l y s i s o f what t h e s o m e t h i n g i s . I b e g i n w i t h an a n a l y s i s o f t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f t h e a s s u m p t i o n s , s h a r e d w i t h a l l o t h e r " s ane" p e o p l e i n our c u l t u r e , about how r e a l i t y i s con-s t i t u t e d ; and I s t u d y how t h e s e a s s u m p t i o n s become p a r t o f e v e r y -one's t h i n k i n g , become "mind" i t s e l f , become th e f a b r i c o f " s a n i t y " (1971: x v i - x v i i ) . The a s s u m p t i o n s t h a t Henry has made about ' s a n i t y ' and ' p a t h o g e n e s i s ' w i l l be t a k e n up l a t e r i n t h i s t h e s i s , and we w i l l have t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o see how he approaches t h e a n a l y s i s o f t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r u c t u r e s u n d e r l y i n g our e v a l u a t i o n s o f ' s a n i t y ' and ' i n s a n i t y ' . O f f e r and S a b s h i n , p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n t h e f i e l d o f p s y c h i a t r y , have w r i t t e n a book on t h e t o p i c o f n o r m a l i t y , and a t t e m p t t o make d e f i n i t e s t a t e m e n t s about i t . I n the f o r w a r d t o t h i s book G r i n k e r r a i s e s s e v e r a l q u e s t i o n s : What i s m e n t a l h e a l t h ? What i s m e n t a l i l l n e s s ? G e n e r a l d e f i n i ^ t i o n s a r e d i f f i c u l t enough; b u t , t o add t o t h e c o n f u s i o n a t t h e extremes o f l i f e , when t r a n s i t i o n s o f growth and d e c l i n e a r e n e c e s s a r y ( i n c h i l d h o o d , i n a d o l e s c e n c e , and i n t h e a g e d ) , h e a l t h i s n o t u n a l l o y e d , b u t seems t o be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e v i d e n c e s o f 16 t u r m o i l i n b e h a v i o r , i n f e e l i n g , and i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l t e s t s . Among a d u l t s i n t h e wide span o f m i d d l e age, p s y c h i a t r i s t s and p s y c h o l o g i s t s have t r e a t e d p a t i e n t s s u f f e r i n g from m e n t a l o r e m o t i o n a l d i s t u r b a n c e s w i t h u n c l e a r i d e a s o f how t h e i r g o a l s o f b e t t e r h e a l t h o r o f n o r m a l i t y can be d e f i n e d , and each t h e o r e t i c a l s c h o o l seems t o have i t s own i m p l i e d c o n c e p t s o f h e a l t h and i l l n e s s . I t seems c l e a r , t h e n , t h a t , f o r a c o n c e p t u a l framework and f o r an o p e r a t i o n a l system c o n c e r n e d w i t h p r i m a r y p r e v e n t i o n , e a r l y t r e a t m e n t , and r e h a b i l i t a t i o n , t h e t i m e i s a p p r o p r i a t e f o r a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f what we r e a l l y mean by n o r m a l i t y . Does i t e x i s t ? I s i t t h e p o l a r o p p o s i t e t o i l l n e s s ? A r e t h e r e one o r s e v e r a l t y p e s o f m e n t a l h e a l t h ? I s m e n t a l h e a l t h a t r a n s -a c t i o n among g e n e t i c , p e r s o n a l i t y , and e n v i r o n m e n t a l p r o c e s s e s ? I s m e n t a l h e a l t h a c a p a c i t y f o r a d a p t a t i o n t o m u l t i p l e e n v i r o n -ments i n an e r a when th e average e x p e c t a b l e environment i s t h e u n e x p e c t e d (1974: i x - x ) ? These q u e s t i o n s a r e h i g h l y r e l e v a n t from t h e p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' p o i n t o f v i e w . They s u g g e s t , however, t h a t n o r m a l i t y i s s o m e t h i n g d e f i n i t e , and t h a t i t would be p o s s i b l e f o r us t o say whether o r n o t i t e x i s t s . From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , t h e r e i s a d i s c o v e r y t o be made about t h e p r o p e r t i e s o f n o r m a l i t y . O f f e r and S a b s h i n l a t e r argue t h a t one o f t h e major problems t h a t con-f r o n t s t h e r e s e a r c h e r who w i s h e s t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e t o p i c i s d e f i n i n g c l e a r l y what i s meant by n o r m a l i t y . They i m p l y t h a t t h e methods employed i n s e l e c t i n g a p o p u l a t i o n w i l l d i r e c t l y a f f e c t the r e s u l t s o f t h e s t u d y (1974: x v , 138). I t would seem t h a t f o r them t h e r e i s a r e a l n o r m a l p o p u l a -t i o n and i f we a r e t o say s o m e t h i n g m e a n i n g f u l about t h e c o n c e p t , we s h o u l d e n sure t h a t t h e p e o p l e we a r e s t u d y i n g a r e i n d e e d n o r m a l . As m entioned e a r l i e r some i n v e s t i g a t o r s have sought t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between normal and d i s t u r b e d f a m i l i e s (Doane, 1978). T h i s becomes an o c c a s i o n f o r l i s t i n g t h e f a c t s o f t h e 'normal' f a m i l y , and t h e f a c t s o f t h e ' d i s t u r b e d ' f a m i l y . I n Doane's words: There i s much e v i d e n c e t o s u p p o r t t h e v i e w t h a t d i s t u r b e d f a m i l i e s a r e marked by a p r e p o n d e r a n c e o f p a r e n t - c h i l d c o a l i -t i o n s .... ...normal f a m i l i e s have more f l e x i b i l e p a t t e r n s o f i n t e r -a c t i n g (1978: 372) . 17 These v i e w s seem t o be d e r i v e d from t h e p e r s p e c t i v e r e f l e c t e d i n t h e w r i t i n g s o f Durkheim. In h i s work, R u l e s o f S o c i o l o g i c a l Method, he d e l i n e a t e s " R u l e s f o r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between t h e Normal and t h e Abnormal": O b s e r v a t i o n . . . c o v e r s , two t y p e s o f f a c t s w h i c h a r e v e r y d i s -s i m i l a r i n c e r t a i n r e s p e c t s : t h o s e w h i c h conform t o g i v e n s t a n d a r d s and t h o s e w h i c h "ought" t o be d i f f e r e n t - i n o t h e r words, n o r m a l and p a t h o l o g i c a l phenomena. We have seen t h a t i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o i n c l u d e them b o t h i n t h e d e f i n i t i o n w i t h w h i c h a l l r e s e a r c h must b e g i n . . . . . . . B r i e f l y , f o r s o c i e t i e s as f o r i n d i v i d u a l s , h e a l t h i s good and d e s i r a b l e ; d i s e a s e , on t h e c o n t r a r y , i s bad and t o be a v o i d e d . I f , t h e n , we can f i n d an o b j e c t i v e c r i t e r i o n , i n h e r e n t i n t h e f a c t s t h e m s e l v e s , w h i c h e n a b l e s us t o d i s t i n g u i s h s c i e n -t i f i c a l l y between h e a l t h and m o r b i d i t y i n t h e v a r i o u s o r d e r s o f s o c i a l phenomena, s c i e n c e w i l l be i n a p o s i t i o n t o throw l i g h t on p r a c t i c a l p r oblems and s t i l l r e m a i n f a i t h f u l t o i t s own method (1938: 47, 49) . I t i s t h i s a p p r o a c h , I t h i n k , w h i c h has i n f l u e n c e d some o f t h e ways i n whi c h i n v e s t i g a t o r s v i e w t h e t o p i c o f n o r m a l i t y and a b n o r m a l i t y w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f p s y c h i a t r y , and i t was from t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t I i n i t i a l l y embarked upon t h e s t u d y o f normal f a m i l y . E m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n was synonymous w i t h t h e method o f i n q u i r y d e r i v e d from o r t h o d o x s o c i o l o g y . I t was t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d t h a t t h e r e were normal f a m i l i e s and d i s t u r b e d f a m i l i e s , each h a v i n g f e a t u r e s t h a t were s c i e n t i f i c a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e . One o f t h e c o n c e r n s I had a t t h e t i m e was t h a t some o f t h e t h e o r i e s such as S a t i r ' s s t r u c k me as b e i n g t o o g e n e r a l . I t seemed t o me t h a t t h i s was an a r e a w h i c h c o u l d be p r o f i t a b l y e x p l o r e d by t h e use o f a r i g o r o u s method. The power o f Bateson's i n t e l l e c t u a l argument about t h e d o u b l e b i n d a p p e a l e d t o me, and l e d me t o ponder some q u e s t i o n s . I a s k e d , f o r example, ar e d o u b l e b i n d s as d e s c r i b e d by Bateson i n h i s e a r l y p a p e r t y p i c a l o f f a m i l i e s w i t h a c h i l d l a b e l e d as s c h i z o p h r e n i c ? A r e such p a t t e r n s o f communication i d e n t i f i a b l e i n f a m i l i e s w h i c h a r e n o t h a v i n g p s y c h i a t r i c t r o u b l e s ? I f q u e s t i o n s such as t h e s e were t o be a d d r e s s e d , t h e n i t would be n e c e s s a r y t o o b t a i n d a t a from f a m i l i e s c o n s i d e r e d t o be normal t o p e r m i t 18 comparisons w i t h t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s . D i f f i c u l t i e s i n u n d e r t a k i n g such a s t u d y were seen as r e l a t e d t o m e t h o d o l o g i c a l i s s u e s -- b u t n o t t h o s e i s s u e s t h a t a r o s e l a t e r . A t t h a t t i m e , I was c o n c e r n e d , f i r s t and f o r e m o s t , w i t h whether o r n o t t h e t o p i c was ' r e s e a r c h a b l e ' , c l e a r s t a t e m e n t o f t h e r e s e a r c h p r o b l e m , o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s o f n o r m a l i t y , p o p u l a t i o n s e l e c t i o n and t h e l i k e . M e t hodology: S e l e c t i n g t h e f a m i l i e s Soon a f t e r r e s u m i n g g r a d u a t e s t u d i e s , t h r o u g h t h e h e l p o f t h e P r o v i n c i a l H e a l t h Department, I was a b l e t o g a i n a c c e s s t o t h e homes o f s i x t e e n f a m i -9 l i e s . I n o r d e r f o r them t o s e l e c t t h e s e f a m i l i e s f o r me, I had t o g i v e c e r -t a i n d i r e c t i v e s . I asked f o r f a m i l i e s t h a t were managing ' c o m p e t e n t l y ' , ^ and t h a t were n o t i n v o l v e d i n p s y c h i a t r i c t h e r a p i e s . C h i l d r e n who were h a v i n g m e d i c a l t h e r a p i e s , b u t whose f a m i l i e s were managing w e l l , w i t h o u t t h e h e l p o f p s y c h i a t r i c p e r s o n n e l were n o t b a r r e d from t h e s t u d y . I s h o u l d i n -f orm the r e a d e r a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t t h e h e a l t h d e p a r t m e n t s , because o f t h e s e r v i c e s t h a t t h e y p r o v i d e t o ' w e l l f a m i l i e s ' ( t h e s e s e r v i c e s i n c l u d e immun-i z a t i o n o f c h i l d r e n , p r e n a t a l c o u n s e l l i n g , c h i l d h e a l t h c o n f e r e n c e s ) have a c c e s s t o f a m i l i e s , t h a t , f o r a l l p r a c t i c a l p u r p o s e s a r e c o n s i d e r e d h e a l t h y . They a l s o - p r o v i d e s e r v i c e s t o ' m u l t i - p r o b l e m f a m i l i e s ' — t h e s e a r e f a m i l i e s which u s u a l l y have ' e m o t i o n a l t r o u b l e s ' , such as c h i l d r e a r i n g " problems and the l i k e . As I had done an e a r l i e r s t u d y w i t h s i n g l e p a r e n t f a m i l i e s , I e x p r e s s e d t h e p r e f e r e n c e t o v i s i t two p a r e n t f a m i l i e s . I f e l t a t t h e t i m e t h a t f u r t h e r s t u d y o f s i n g l e p a r e n t f a m i l i e s would be r e p e t i t i o u s . T h i s t h e r e f o r e a c c o u n t s f o r t h e f a c t o f a l l t h e s t u d y f a m i l i e s b e i n g two p a r e n t f a m i l i e s . I d r a f t e d a l e t t e r t o f a m i l i e s w h i c h e x p l a i n e d t h a t I wanted t o s t u d y . i n t e r a c t i o n p a t t e r n s between p a r e n t s and c h i l d r e n . I made i t c l e a r t h a t t h i s would be an o b s e r v a t i o n a l s t u d y , r a t h e r t h a n one i n wh i c h q u e s t i o n -19 n a i r e s would be c ompleted. The comnunity h e a l t h n u r s e s i n f o r m e d me t h a t a number o f f a m i l i e s were approached. Some r e f u s e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e s t u d y , o f t e n s t a t i n g t h a t i t was n o t c o n v e n i e n t a t t h a t t i m e . O t h e r s e x p r e s s e d an i n t e r e s t , - a n d a s ked t o speak f u r t h e r w i t h me. I phoned a l l t h e f a m i l i e s t h a t gave p e r m i s s i o n f o r me t o c o n t a c t them. I u s u a l l y r e i t e r a t e d t h e p o i n t s i n t h e l e t t e r , making c l e a r t h a t i t would be a demand on t h e i r t i m e , as I w o u l d spend e x t e n d e d p e r -i o d s i n t h e i r homes. Those who r e f u s e d t o have me v i s i t (two f a m i l i e s ) d i d so on t h e grounds t h a t t h e i r s c h e d u l e s c o u l d n o t accommodate me. Some r e l u c -t a n t l y a g reed t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e s t u d y . They s a i d I c o u l d v i s i t , b u t warned t h a t I would n o t be a b l e t o ' f i n d out v e r y much' by o b s e r v i n g t h e i r f a m i l i e s . O t h e r s were r e c e p t i v e t o my v i s i t s . Of t h e s i x t e e n f a m i l i e s t h a t a g reed t o be i n v o l v e d i n t h e s t u d y , one w i t h d r e w a f t e r t h e f i r s t v i s i t . Sub-sequent v i s i t s s c h e d u l e d t o t h i s f a m i l y were c a n c e l l e d by them, w i t h t h e ex-cuse t h a t some o t h e r m a t t e r s had come up. I i n t e r p r e t e d t h e i r r e p e a t e d ex-cuses t o mean t h e y might have w i s h e d n o t t o c o n t i n u e i n t h e s t u d y , and r e -minded them t h a t t h e y were f r e e t o w i t h d r a w i f t h e y had o t h e r commitments. The w i f e seemed g l a d o f my r e m i n d e r , and s t a t e d t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e t o w i t h d r a w . She t h e n t o l d me t h a t t h e y had r e c e n t l y l e a r n e d about some t r o u b l e s w i t h one o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n ; the e l d e s t c h i l d was d i a g n o s e d as h a v i n g a l e a r n i n g d i s -a b i l i t y and t h e f a m i l y f e l t t o o p r e s s u r e d t o have an o b s e r v e r i n t h e i r home. V i s i t s were d i s c o n t i n u e d t o one f a m i l y a f t e r two v i s i t s i n w h i c h d a t a were o b t a i n e d . They had n o t been e n t h u s i a s t i c about t h e s t u d y i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e , and k e p t t e l l i n g me t h a t I would n o t be a b l e t o see what t h e f a m i l y was r e a l l y l i k e because o f ' o b s e r v e r e f f e c t s ' . A t h i r d v i s i t had been s c h e -d u l e d , and when I a r r i v e d t h e w i f e had gone o u t , and t h e c h i l d r e n had been p u t t o bed f o r t h e i r punishment. (The husband s a i d t h a t t h e y had f o r g o t t e n about our p l a n s ) . As t h e r e had been d i f f i c u l t i e s a r r a n g i n g even a f i r s t 2 0 v i s i t w i t h , t h i s f a m i l y because o f t h e i r b u s y s c h e d u l e s , I f e l t t h a t I s h o u l d n o t impose m y s e l f f u r t h e r upon them, and t o l d t h e husband t h a t I would t r e a t my ( a b o r t e d ) v i s i t as t h e l a s t . I s u b s e q u e n t l y t e l e p h o n e d t h e w i f e t o thank h e r f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e r e s e a r c h . I l e a r n e d t h e n t h a t some m e d i c a l problems had a r i s e n f o r w h i c h she was b e i n g t r e a t e d , and w h i c h had been a s o u r c e o f a n x i e t y t o h e r . She c o n f i r m e d t h a t t h i n g s were a ' b i t b u s y ' , b u t o f f e r e d t o h e l p me out i f I needed f u r t h e r d a t a . I d i d n o t see t h i s f a m i l y a g a i n . The o t h e r f a m i l i e s p e r m i t t e d me t o v i s i t t h e i r homes on t h r e e o c c a s i o n s , w i t h t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t I would r e t u r n d u r i n g t h e w r i t i n g o f t h e d i s s e r -t a t i o n , i f f u r t h e r q u e s t i o n s came up. The need f o r f u r t h e r d a t a d i d n o t a r i s e . L e t me g i v e a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e f a m i l i e s t h a t p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s s t u d y . They a l l l i v e d i n m i d d l e c l a s s r e s i d e n t i a l a r e a s about an h o u r ' s d r i v e from t h e downtown a r e a o f a Western C a n a d i a n c i t y . E x c e p t f o r t h e one f a m i l y t h a t w i t h d r e w from t h e s t u d y a f t e r t h e f i r s t v i s i t , a l l were C a u c a s i a n , and owned s p a c i o u s , w e l l k e p t homes. F o r t h e most p a r t , each c h i l d had h i s o r h e r own bedroom. One f a m i l y t h a t was l i v i n g i n a s m a l l house a t t h e t i m e , was d o i n g so t e m p o r a r i l y i n o r d e r t o b u i l d a new home, and have s i n c e moved i n t o t h i s house. The p a r e n t s r a n g e d i n ages from t h e l a t e t w e n t i e s t o t h e e a r l y f o r t i e s , w i t h c h i l d r e n from s i x months t o t h i r t e e n y e a r s o f age. W i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f two f a m i l i e s t h a t had o n l y one c h i l d , a l l had two or.more c h i l d r e n , w i t h f o u r c h i l d r e n b e i n g t h e maximum i n any one f a m i l y . The husbands, and w i v e s who worked, were employed i n the p r o f e s s i o n s , b u s i n e s s community o r as t e c h n i c i a n s . Some were c o l l e g e e d u c a t e d h o l d i n g g r a d u a t e d e g r e e s . A l l husbands and two w i v e s had f u l l t i m e j o b s o u t s i d e o f 21 t h e home. Some o f t h e women who had e l e c t e d n o t t o e n t e r t h e work f o r c e d u r i n g t h e t i m e t h e y were ' b r i n g i n g up a f a m i l y ' had p r o f e s s i o n a l t r a i n i n g , o r had worked i n t h e b u s i n e s s community p r i o r t o t h e b i r t h o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n . Some s a i d t h e y p l a n n e d t o r e t u r n t o work when t h e c h i l d r e n r e a c h e d s c h o o l age, o t h e r s d i d n o t e x p r e s s t h i s w i s h , and o t h e r s were making p l a n s f o r c h i l d c a r e arrangements t o p e r m i t them t o r e t u r n t o work on a p a r t - t i m e b a s i s . My r e s e a r c h was u n d e r t a k e n as an e t h n o g r a p h y . ^ Each v i s i t t o a f a m i l y l a s t e d anywhere from two t o s i x h o u r s , depending on t h e t i m e o f day, and o t h e r f a m i l y commitments. D u r i n g t h i s t i m e I o b s e r v e d the r o u t i n e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e i r e v e r y d a y l i v e s , such as t h e i r management o f c h i l d r e n , and a l l t h e o t h e r a c t i v i t i e s t h a t go on i n d a y - t o - d a y l i f e -- c o o k i n g , c l e a n i n g , mowing law n s , f i x i n g c a r s , d i s c i p l i n i n g c h i l d r e n , p l a y i n g w i t h c h i l d r e n , e a t i n g , w a t c h i n g t e l e v i s i o n , and t h e l i k e . I p a r t i c i p a t e d i n some o f t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s w i t h them. I p l a y e d w i t h c h i l d r e n , a t e w i t h t h e f a m i l i e s , s a t around w i t h them when t h e y were w a t c h i n g t e l e v i s i o n . We a l s o t a l k e d a l o t . I f e l t welcome i n t h e s e homes, and p a r e n t s were n o t h e s i t a n t t o t a l k w i t h me about what i t was l i k e t o ' b r i n g up k i d s ' . They a l l o w e d me t o tape r e c o r d a l l our c o n v e r s a t i o n s , and t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s among f a m i l y members. We had t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t i f t h e y had any c o n c e r n s about t h e c o n t e n t o f t h e i r t a l k , t h e y would i n f o r m me and I would e r a s e t h e t a p e t h e r e , i n t h e i r homes. T h i s happened o n l y once. The c h i l d r e n r e f e r r e d t o some p e o p l e by name, and t h e p a r e n t s were v i s i b l y u n c o m f o r t a b l e . To f a m i l i a r i z e t h e r e a d e r w i t h the d a t a o b t a i n e d from t h e s e f a m i l i e s , I s h a l l p r e s e n t some t r a n s c r i p t m a t e r i a l s . They a r e chosen a t random so t o speak; t h a t i s , I have n o t s e l e c t e d them because t h e y have some s p e c i a l f e a t u r e s w h i c h t e l l us about 'normal' f a m i l i e s , r a t h e r , t h e y s h o u l d be seen as a s a m p l i n g o f 22 t h e k i n d s o f f a m i l y i n t e r a c t i o n s t h a t were made a v a i l a b l e t o me. 1.1 P a r t i c i p a n t s : M o t h e r , J i m (5 y e a r s ) , Jane (2 y e a r s ) , v i s i t i n g c h i l d r e n - - J a c k (6 y e a r s ) , Rose ( 6 i y e a r s ) , J o a n ( r e s e a r c h e r ) . S e t t i n g : S i t t i n g i n l i v i n g r o o m — J i m had j u s t come i n from o u t s i d e . Mother: J o a n b r o u g h t us a p r e s e n t . J i m : What? She b r o u g h t you a papaya and a mango. I don't l i k e papaya o r mango. Mother J i m : Mother A r e you g o i n g t o say a n i c e t h i n g about t h e p r e s e n t i n s t e a d I don't l i k e i t ? Maybe you c o u l d j u s t s a y i t was n i c e t o b r i n g a p r e s e n t . Maybe you have f o r g o t t e n t h a t you might l i k e i t . J i m : No I n e v e r . Mother: Then P e t e r ? [ r e f e r r i n g t o o t h e r s o n , 6 y e a r s o l d ] . J i m : He don't l i k e them e i t h e r . Mother: I b e t he does. J i m : He d o e s n ' t . Mother: A r e you s u r e ? J i m : I know. He do e s n ' t l i k e mangoes. J a c k : [commenting on t a p e r e c o r d e r , b u t i n a u d i b l e ] . ' Mother: To l i s t e n t o us t a l k i n g . J i m : Ya. You don't p u t them on y o u r ears. You j u s t l e a v e them t h e r e , and t h e sound, j u s t w h a t e v e r you s a y , i t w i l l , t h e machine w i l l p l a y i t back and i t w i l l say t h e words what we say. J a c k : How come? J i m : I t come out t h e s e m i c r o p h o n e s . Mother: How come what J a c k ? J a c k : How come when J i m i s t a l k i n g , t h e n how come i t do e s n ' t come b a c k ? Mother: L i k e an echo you mean? J a c k : y a . 23 Mother: Because you have t o push t h e b u t t o n t o make i t s t o p , and t h e n you have t o r e w i n d i t and make i t t a l k by p u s h i n g a n o t h e r b u t t o n . There i s a b u t t o n f o r l i s t e n and a b u t t o n f o r t a l k . J i m : So i t do e s n ' t echo back t o us. You push a n o t h e r b u t t o n , i t t a l k , and t h e n [ i n a u d i b l e ] . M other: What you want t o do [mother t a l k i n g t o c h i l d r e n i n a v e r y low v o i c e - - " i n a u d i b l e on t a p e ] . Mother: [ t o Jane] Do you want t o j u s t l a y down now? J i m : I don't know where [?] f o x and s o c k s a r e . Mother: I n y o u r [ i n a u d i b l e ] o r under y o u r bed. J i m : [ t o r e s e a r c h e r ] ' I have a new k i t e . J o a n : ya? J i m : And i t s my own. Jo a n : Wow! J i m : I got i t f o r my b i r t h d a y [goes o f f t o get a b o o k ] . J a c k : [ t o me] A r e you p u t t i n g i t on t a l k ? J o a n : No, i t ' s s t i l l on r e c o r d . Mother: I t ' s on l i s t e n . J o a n : Ya. Mother: I t ' s c a l l e d r e c o r d . R e c o r d i n g what you a r e s a y i n g . [ J i m r e t u r n s w i t h book, and Mother s t a r t s r e a d i n g t o t h e c h i l d r e n ] . Mother: A l l i g a t o r p i e ? J a c k : I l i k e t h i s one. Mother: Mmm. J i m : T h i s i s a f u n one. Has a l l k i n d s o f s t o r i e s i n i t . Mother: What s h a l l we s t a r t w i t h ? J i m : Do a l l i g a t o r p i e f i r s t . [About 20 minutes l a t e r ] Mother: J i m . There i s something s i t t i n g on my shoe [ J i m had dropped t h e book, and was r u n n i n g away w i t h t h e o t h e r c h i l d r e n ] . 24 J i m : What t h i n g s i t t i n g on y o u r shoe? Mother: What i s ? I t dropped on t h e f l o o r . J i m : I t ' s n o t on y o u r shoe. Mother: A r e you p u s h i n g me? I t i s n ' t now, because J i m has t a k e n c a r e o f J i m : Don't say t h a t ! Mother: You don't l i k e i t when I say you made a m i s t a k e ? J i m : I'm g o i n g t o punch you! Mother: I don't t h i n k s o ! [ P a u s e ] . You want a l i t t l e p u n c h i n g game Jim? J i m : No. Mother: No? You a r e n o t f u n anymore! J i m : I w i l l s i t on y o u r head! Mother: You want t o have a l i t t l e p u n c h i n g game? J i m : No,, [ J i m p i c k s up b o o k ] . Mother: Okay, see you l a t e r [ J i m l e a v e s ] . M other: [ t o 2 y e a r o l d ] You and I . J a n e : No, I don't want t o s l e e p [ p u t t i n g up a f u s s ] no, no! [Mother t a k e s h e r away t o h e r room t o s e t t l e h e r f o r an a f t e r n o o n n a p ] . 1.2 P a r t i c i p a n t s : M other, F a t h e r , Jane (3-J- y e a r s ) , June (1 y e a r ) , J o a n ( r e s e a r c h e r ) . S e t t i n g : We a r e s i t t i n g i n t h e k i t c h e n . Jane i s a t t h e k i t c h e n t a b l Mother: [ t o J a n e ] . Take you f o o t o f f . S i t back up p r o p e r l y . You push a l o n g way, don't you? You d o n ' t ? Don't you get t i r e d ? You're g o i n g t o go t o y o u r room now. Goodnight d e a r . C l o s e y o u r d o o r . [Jane l e a v e s room. Goes i n t o l i v i n g room]. [ t o me] They a r e g o i n g t o see how f a r t h e y can push. Depends on what t i m e o f t h e day. Sometimes i t c o u l d be a l o n g way. I f i t g e t s me a t a bad t i m e , n o t v e r y f a r . [mother s t a r t i n g t o f e e d J u n e ] . [ t o June] Okay, s i t down p l e a s e . Come on. Can't you s i t down? Do you want t o e a t ? S i t down, s i t down and e a t . I ' l l h o l d y o u r f o o d . I ' l l t i e you i n . E a t p r o p e r l y . Come on. Mmm. Yummies! [ t o me] So y o u r husband i s f e n d i n g f o r h i m s e l f t o n i g h t . I s he? 25 J o a n : Oh y a , y a . He has been d o i n g a l o t o f t h a t r e c e n t l y . Mother: Oh no. June: [ c o u g h i n g ] Mother: They have t e r r i b l e coughs t h e s e c h i l d r e n . J une: Dada. Mother: Dada? Jane has a cough t o o . She seems t o g e t m o s t l y when she i s s l e e p -i n g . [Jane and f a t h e r a r e i n t h e l i v i n g room. We can o v e r h e a r them i n t h e k i t c h e n ] . Mother: [ r e f e r r i n g t o c o n v e r s a t i o n g o i n g on between f a t h e r and Jane] She i s c o n n i n g him i n t o s o m e t h i n g . I don't know what. She i s a r e a l con a r t i s t , you know. She, baby, w i l l have s o m e t h i n g she wants, and she w i l l t r a d e h e r . Sometimes she j u s t pushes so f a r though. [ F a t h e r and Jane come i n t o k i t c h e n ] . F a t h e r : [ t o Jane] Show J o a n . J a n e : What? F a t h e r : Show i t t o J o a n . J a n e : [ t o me] Look! J o a n : T h a t ' s y o u r l e t t e r s , aye? J a n e : T h a t ' s my l e t t e r s . Mother: Maybe you s h o u l d do i t on t h e t a b l e so t h a t baby won't get i t when she g e t s down aye. Ja n e : Okay. Mother: I t happens. She g e t s i n , and g e t s y o u r s t u f f , t h e n you g e t v e r y c r o s s . J a n e : A l l my l e t t e r s . My l e t t e r s [ t o me]. Mother: I don't t h i n k she i s t r y i n g t o t a k e them from you. I woul.dn't w o r r y [ r e f e r r i n g t o me]. [ L a t e r ] Mother: I'd l i k e t o know when t h e y s t a r t s a y i n g no, you know how f a r t o l e t them go. J o a n : Yes, sometimes i t ' s h a r d , i s n ' t i t ? 26 Mother: Because you don.'t want them t o do e v e r y t h i n g j u s t t h e way you want. You want them t o make d e c i s i o n s on t h e i r own sometimes [ i n a u d i b l e ] . Sometimes I f e e l I c l o s e my eyes and I don't see some o f what she does. She's p r e t t y good f o r h e r age. Jo a n : Ya, she i s a v e r y b r i g h t c h i l d . Mother: She i s s u r p r i s i n g l y p e r c e p t i v e . She seems t o know, you know, and she knows e x a c t l y how t o get around everybody. Each i n d i v i d u a l p e r s o n , y ou know. J o a n : She i s a f r i e n d l y c h i l d t o o . Mother: Sometimes she i s shy, b u t most o f t h e t i m e she i s v e r y f r i e n d l y . [ L a t e r . R e f e r r i n g t o o n e - y e a r - o l d c h i l d ] . M other: She p l a y s v e r y w e l l on h e r own. Oh, she i s a happy baby. She i s much as Jane was. Much t h e same. But t h e c h i l d r e n t o g e t h e r a r e a t e r r o r . We have b e l l s on h e r f e e t so we can f i n d h e r . Can I t keep up w i t h t h a t one, I am t e l l i n g you. 1.3 P a r t i c i p a n t s : M other, F a t h e r , P e t e r (3-j y e a r s ) , J a c k {1\ y e a r s ) , J o a n ( r e s e a r c h e r ) , John (about 4 y e a r s ) v i s i t i n g c h i l d . S e t t i n g : Mother and r e s e a r c h e r a r e i n k i t c h e n . P e t e r i s o u t s i d e . P e t e r : Mom! Mother: What? P e t e r : Can we e a t o u t s i d e ? Mother: No, you come on i n and eat i n s i d e t o d a y . I got some p o t a t o c h i p s you can have. NO! Come on. What? Come on i n s i d e . NO! Mother: Don't do t h a t . P e t e r : I want t o e a t o u t s i d e . Mother: [ t o J a c k ] J a c k , don't s t a n d b e h i n d me. P e t e r : Mother P e t e r : Mother P e t e r 27 Mother: [ t o P e t e r ] Come on, you can have some o f t h a t orange o r grape t h a t t h e milkman b r o u g h t t h i s m orning. P e t e r : I don't want t o e a t . Mother: You come on i n t h e house. P e t e r : I want t o e a t o u t s i d e [ i n t e a r f u l t o n e ] . Mother: You e a t i n t h e house t o d a y , okay. [Mother wanted c h i l d t o eat i n house because t a p e r e c o r d e r was s e t up i n t h e k i t c h e n ] :' [ t o J a c k ] J a c k , s i t down. You a r e g o i n g t o g e t a s p a n k i n g . P e t e r : No. Mother: PETER! P e t e r : No, I'm n o t . No. Mother: P e t e r , y o u ' r e g o i n g t o go t o bed. P e t e r : I want t o eat o u t s i d e . Mother: How i s t h e sound o f a s p a n k i n g g o i n g t o a f f e c t h a aha ha [ t o me, r e f e r r i n g t o how a s p a n k i n g would sound on the t a p e r e c o r d e r ] . J ohn: [ v i s i t i n g c h i l d comes i n f r o m o u t s i d e ] Hey J a c k , what's t h i s ? [ r e f e r r i n g t o microphones from t a p e r e c o r d e r ] . J a c k : T h i s i s an a i r p l a n e . Mother: You j u s t l e a v e them a l o n e , okay? J a c k : What a r e t h e y ? Mother: Oh, t h e y a r e j u s t l i t t l e k i n d o f mi c r o p h o n e s . [ t o me] Can I p u t one k i d t h e r e ? J o a n : Ya, s u r e . Mother: You want t o s i t down t h e r e ? [By t h i s t i m e P e t e r had come i n s i d e ] . [ t o J a c k ] Go round t h i s way. [She i s s e a t i n g t h e c h i l d r e n a t t h e t a b l e ] . [ F a t h e r comes i n from o u t s i d e ' — goes o v e r t o k i t c h e n c o u n t e r t o h e l p h i s w i f e ] Mother: J a c k , h e r e i s y o u r peanut b u t t e r . [ t o John] Do you want jam o r peanut b u t t e r ? Jam? John: Peanut b u t t e r . Mother: Peanut b u t t e r ? Mother: P e t e r , what k i n d o f sand w i c h a r e you h a v i n g ? 28 P e t e r : Peanut b u t t e r and jam. Mother: Both? 1.4 P a r t i c i p a n t s : F a t h e r , J i m (6 y e a r s ) , J o a n ( r e s e a r c h e r ) . S e t t i n g : F a t h e r i s g i v i n g son a p i a n o l e s s o n . F a t h e r : Now, t h a t ' s i t , good! One, two, t h r e e , r e s t . Okay, now I am g o i n g t o count out l o u d , and you j u s t c a r r y on. Your f i n g e r i n g was p e r f e c t ! Your f i n g e r i n g was j u s t p e r f e c t on t h a t ! J i m : [ s t a r t s p l a y i n g a g a i n ] . F a t h e r : Do you know what you d i d wrong? J i m : What? F a t h e r : I t ' s h o t , and you don't want t o t o u c h i t . Hot, you know. Oh, okay, r e a d y ? P r e t e n d i t ' s r e a l l y h o t , and you j u s t t o u c h i t . Okay, l e t s go. Ready? F a t h e r : Not so f a s t . You s e e , you c a n ' t p l a y i t t h a t f a s t , because you ge t t h a t f a r , and you c a n ' t remember what t h o s e n o t e s a r e s o / J i m : J i m : F a t h e r J i m : F a t h e r J i m : F a t h e r Ya. F a t h e r : Take i t more s l o w l y . Come on. Good. Now, j u s t watch i t . Don I t go so q u i c k l y though t h a t you don't know what's coming ahead o f you. J i m : [ i n a u d i b l e ] . F a t h e r : Okay, t h e n l e t ' s p l a y i t a g a i n . Oh, how many t i m e s [ w h i n i n g ] . Oh, i t w i l l be f i f t e e n more t i m e s . No [ i n a u d i b l e ] anymore. Okay, t h i r t e e n more t i m e s . No. Ready, l e t ' s go. [ J i m s t a r t s p l a y i n g , and f a t h e r c o u n t i n g ] . F a t h e r : Good. Okay. Now t h i s t i m e we a r e g o i n g t o go a l i t t l e b i t s l o w e r , and we're g o i n g t o p r e t e n d t h e r a i n d r o p s a r e f a l l i n g j u s t a l i t t l e s l o w e r . Now, r a i n s h o w e r s j u s t about. J i m : [ i n a u d i b l e ] . 29 F a t h e r : Okay, a l i t t l e b i t s l o w e r . J i m : [ i n a u d i b l e ] . F a t h e r : And you count w i t h me. Mrs...wants you t o c o u n t , and I want you t o c o u n t . R i g h t ? L e t ' s go. Ready? J i m : I don't want t o do t h i s anymore. F a t h e r : Ya, b u t j u s t one more t i m e . J i m : No [ i n a u d i b l e ] . F a t h e r : You want t o have i t p e r f e c t ? J i m : No. F a t h e r : W e l l , I want you t o . J i m : No. F a t h e r : Get a s t i c k e r , maybe two on i f i t ' s done p e r f e c t and t h e r i g h t f i n g e r i n g ? J i m : No, I don't c a r e how i t ' s [pause] No. I don't c a r e whether I am good o r n o t . F a t h e r : T r y i t . J i m : No. F a t h e r : A l r i g h t , I ' l l p l a y i t t h e n . J i m : No. F a t h e r : You p a s s . J i m : I won't do i t . F a t h e r : P l a y i t J i m , once more. J i m : No. [ F a t h e r s t a r t s p l a y i n g ] J i m : [ i n a u d i b l e ] . F a t h e r : Okay, t h i s one. J i m : No. F a t h e r : L e t ' s go. J i m : No. 30 F a t h e r : J i m : F a t h e r : J i m : F a t h e r : J i m : F a t h e r : J i m : F a t h e r : You want t o go t o bed now? No. W e l l t h e n p l a y t h i s . No. You have t o p l a y i t , as t h i s one [ i n a u d i b l e ] g o i n g t o c o n c e r t [ i n a u d i b l e ] as w e l l . I want t o p l a y a n o t h e r one. Which one? [ i n a u d i b l e ] . That one? Okay, l e t ' s go. Ready? [ F a t h e r c o u n t i n g ; son p l a y i n g ] . 1.5 P a r t i c i p a n t s : M other, J o a n ( r e s e a r c h e r ) . S e t t i n g : S i t t i n g i n kitchen';- h a v i n g c o f f e e . C h i l d r e n p l a y i n g o u t s i d e . Mother: But we have been h a v i n g some problems w i t h h e r l a t e l y , and i t ' s k i n d a got us c o n c e r n e d . I don't know why, b u t she i s g o i n g t h r o u g h a, I hope i t ' s j u s t a s t a g e , b u t a r e b e l l i o u s , l a c k o f c o n c e n t r a t i o n . Um, n o t t h i n k i n g when she i s g e t t i n g d r e s s e d , n o t t h i n k i n g when she i s d o i n g a n y t h i n g , p u t t i n g shoes on t h e wrong f e e t when she knows how t h e y go on. She.has been t a u g h t you know. B e i n g t o l d f i v e o r s i x t i m e s t o do s o m e t h i n g . . . . But I don't know what i t i s , I don't know whether she s l i p s i n t o h e r own i m a g i n a r y w o r l d , and I t h i n k t h a t she i s n ' t l i s t e n i n g o r h e a r -i n g when we a r e t a l k i n g t o h e r . Q u i t e o f t e n you can t u r n around and s a y , now what d i d I j u s t s a y , and she won't be a b l e t o t e l l you. I t ' s because she do e s n ' t want t o h e a r you when y o u ' r e t e l l i n g h e r , t h a t ' s so she i s n o t h e a r i n g . So, I don't know, we a r e k i n d a u n d e c i d e d about how t o h a n d l e i t . 1.6 P a r t i c i p a n t s : F a t h e r , M o t h e r , Jane (3 y e a r s ) , Rose ( l i y e a r s ) , J o a n ( r e s e a r c h e r ) . S e t t i n g : A t l u n c h t a b l e . [Jane had asked f o r m i l k -- i n a u d i b l e on t a p e ] . F a t h e r : W e l l , i f you would s i t up a t t h e t a b l e and ask f o r i t . J a n e : Can I have some m i l k ? F a t h e r : Pardon? 31 J a n e : Can I have some m i l k ? F a t h e r : F i n i s h t h a t m o u t h f u l and ask f o r i t p r o p e r l y . J a n e : [ i n a u d i b l e ] May I have m i l k ? F a t h e r : C e r t a i n l y . What s e n s e , i f any, can t h e r e a d e r make o f t h e s e t r a n s c r i p t s ? What can we say about t h e d o u b l e b i n d , f o r example? How can we go about f i n d i n g i t , o r any o t h e r f e a t u r e o f f a m i l y l i f e w h i c h would p e r m i t us t o make d e f i n i t e s t a t e m e n t s about normal f a m i l i e s , and how t h e y d i f f e r f rom what has appeared i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e about ' d i s t u r b e d ' f a m i l i e s ? How would f o r m a l t h e o r i e s h e l p us t o a r r i v e a t d e c i s i o n s about 'normal f a m i l y ' i n t e r a c t i o n p a t t e r n s ? In my i n i t i a l a t t e m p t s t o make sense o f t h e d a t a , I s t a r t e d t o c a t e -g o r i z e t h e t a l k i n t h e t r a n s c r i p t m a t e r i a l s , so t h a t I c o u l d i d e n t i f y p a t t e r n s o f i n t e r a c t i o n i n t h e s e f a m i l i e s . My i n t e n t a t t h a t t i m e was t o w r i t e an e t h n o g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e p a t t e r n s o f i n t e r a c t i o n i n t h e s e f a m i l i e s . A t t h i s e a r l y s t a g e I used t h e o r i e s about f a m i l i e s as a way o f f r a m i n g t h e d a t a -- t h a t i s , I i n v o k e d t h e o r i e s as an a u t h o r i t y t o h e l p me t o make sense o f t h e o b s e r v a t i o n s I had made, and t o s u b s t a n t i a t e t h e c l a i m s I was making about t h e f a m i l i e s . But some q u e s t i o n s became t r o u b l e -some t o me. I f I c o n s t r u c t e d an ethnography would t h i s i n f a c t t e l l me a n y t h i n g about normal f a m i l i e s ? Were t h e p a t t e r n s o f i n t e r a c t i o n t h a t I was d e s c r i b i n g a d d i n g up t o a normal f a m i l y ? C o u l d n o r m a l i t y be r e v e a l e d i n segments o f t a l k ? T h i s way o f a p p r o a c h i n g t h e d a t a presumed t h a t t h e r e were f i n i t e p r o p e r t i e s o f n o r m a l i t y , and t h a t i t was p o s s i b l e t o s t a t e what t h e s e p r o p e r t i e s were. O t h e r q u e s t i o n s w h i c h I had t o a d d r e s s were, how were d e c i s i o n s r e a c h e d t o a l l o c a t e a g i v e n datum t o a p a r t i c u l a r c a t e g o r y ? Was i t p o s s i b l e t o g i v e d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s t o a g i v e n datum, i f I used 32 d i f f e r e n t t h e o r i e s ? R e - f r a m i n g t h e C o n c e p t i o n o f N o r m a l i t y At t h i s p o i n t i n my i n q u i r y I s t a r t e d t o r e f l e c t upon t h e d a t a . I took t r a n s c r i p t m a t e r i a l s and s t a r t e d t o ask d i f f e r e n t q u e s t i o n s from t h o s e I had asked b e f o r e . I f we t a k e t h e t r a n s c r i p t , f o r example: But we have been h a v i n g some problems w i t h h e r l a t e l y , and i t s k i n d a g ot us con c e r n e d . I don't know why, b u t she i s g o i n g t h r o u g h a, I hope i t ' s j u s t a s t a g e , b u t a r e b e l l i o u s , l a c k o f c o n c e n t r a t i o n . Urn, n o t t h i n k i n g when she i s g e t t i n g d r e s s e d , n o t t h i n k i n g when she i s d o i n g a n y t h i n g , p u t t i n g shoes on t h e wrong f e e t when she knows how t h e y go on. She has been t a u g h t you know.... ...and urn f a i l i n g t h a t I am g o i n g t o go t o a p a e d i a t r i c i a n , because maybe i t ' s n o t Jane who needs t h e h e l p , maybe i t ' s me. I don't know. And I sound as l i k e I'm a r e a l n e u r o t i c about i t . What can we say about t h i s t a l k ? Are we t o s a y t h a t t h e f a m i l y was wrong-f u l l y i n c l u d e d i n t h e s t u d y ? How do t h e t h e o r i e s h e l p us t o make d e c i s i o n s about segments o f t a l k such as t h e s e ? By d i s t a n c i n g m y s e l f from my f i e l d -work e x p e r i e n c e , and from t h e f a c t t h a t I was s t u d y i n g 'normal f a m i l y ' I came t o see segments o f t r a n s c r i p t s l i k e t h i s as s u b j e c t t o a v a r i e t y o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , and came t o see t h a t t h e t h e o r y i n i t s e l f w ould n o t h e l p me t o l o c a t e n o r m a l i t y . That I c o u l d see such t a l k as i n d i c a t i n g t h a t a 'normal f a m i l y can have t r o u b l e s ' i n s t r u c t e d me t h a t how I was making sense o f t h e d a t a d i d n o t d e r i v e from the p r o p e r t i e s o f t h e d a t a , b u t from t h e schema t h r o u g h w h i c h t h e s e d a t a were i n t e r p r e t e d ! I was s e e i n g t h e d a t a t h r o u g h t h e 'normal f a m i l y i n t e r p r e t i v e schema', and was t h e r e f o r e c o n s t r u c t -i n g a c c o u n t s o f what normal f a m i l i e s d i d . I c o u l d . t a k e any t a l k and frame i t i n such a way t h a t i t would get r e a d as what normal f a m i l i e s do. I came t o ask, had I been s t u d y i n g ' t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s ' would I have been a b l e t o use t h e s e d a t a o r any d a t a t o c o n s t r u c t a c c o u n t s about what goes on i n t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s ? I came t o see t h a t n o r m a l i t y was c o n s t r u c t e d 33 t h r o u g h t h e i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o c e s s e s o f i n t e r a c t i o n and t h a t as a s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s t u d y i n g n o r m a l i t y I was i n v o l v e d i n i t s p r o d u c t i o n . I s t a r t e d t o ask d i f f e r e n t q u e s t i o n s about n o r m a l i t y , such a s , i s n o r m a l i t y a t h i n g t o be r e v e a l e d ? I came t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h e s e d a t a were n o t r e v e a l i n g n o r m a l i t y , n o t because o f t h e weakness o f t h e d a t a , b u t because o f t h e n a t u r e o f n o r m a l i t y . L e t me s t a t e e m p h a t i c a l l y a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t my q u e s t i o n i n g o f the d a t a s h o u l d n o t be i n t e r p r e t e d as a s k i n g whether o r n o t t h e f a m i l i e s were i n d e e d n o r m a l , o r i m p l y i n g t h a t t h e y were n o t . T h i s i s n o t t h e i s s u e . My q u e s t i o n i n g does n o t r e f l e c t upon t h e f a m i l i e s i n any way, n o r does i t r e f l e c t upon t h e d a t a o b t a i n e d from t h e s e f a m i l i e s . Any d a t a would have been s u b j e c t t o t h e same s c r u t i n y , and t o the same r i g o r o u s t r e a t m e n t . What i s a t i s s u e h e r e i s n o r m a l i t y as a t h e o -r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t , and how we come t o make sense o f i t . Can i t be under-s t o o d as a t h i n g t o be i d e n t i f i e d and d e s c r i b e d , o r must we r e - f r a m e our s e e i n g o f i t ? The r a i s i n g o f t h e s e q u e s t i o n s marked a d r a s t i c s h i f t i n the way I s t a r t e d t o see my work. The i s s u e was no l o n g e r a d e s c r i p t i o n o f i n t e r a c t i o n p a t t e r n s i n normal f a m i l i e s . The i s s u e i n s t e a d became t h e t o p i c o f n o r m a l i t y , and t h e d a t a from t h e f a m i l i e s p r o v i d e d t h e s u b s t a n c e t h a t would h e l p me t o t a c k l e t h e q u e s t i o n s t h a t a r o s e . I came t o see t h a t I c o u l d n o t t a l k i n t e l l i g i b l y about n o r m a l i t y w i t h o u t d i s c u s s i n g t h e n o t i o n o f ' d i s t u r b e d ' , ' t r o u b l e d ' , and t h e l i k e , because i n d i s c u s s i n g n o r m a l i t y we a r e i m p l i c i t l y making r e f e r e n c e t o i t s p o l a r o p p o s i t e . So t h e s e became t w i n c o n c e p t s t h a t had t o be h a n d l e d t o g e t h e r . I went back t o t h e f o r m a l t h e o r i e s n o t t o t a k e as f a c t what was w r i t t e n about d i s t u r b e d and normal f a m i l i e s , b u t t o q u e s t i o n how 1 2 t h e o r i s t s a r r i v e a t t h e i r d e c i s i o n s . What w o r l d v i e w must :they sub-s c r i b e t o i n o r d e r t o a c c e p t t h e t h e o r i e s t h e y do? How i s i t even p o s s i b l e 34 f o r us t o t a l k about t h e n o t i o n s n o r m a l and d i s t u r b e d ? I r e - r e a d Henry's w r i t i n g s . I came t o q u e s t i o n how he a r r i v e d a t h i s d e c i s i o n s about such t o p i c s as 'remote f a t h e r i n g ' (1971: 299-304). My s t a n c e i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e s e t h e o r i e s became r e f l e c t i v e . I had t o s t a n d back from t h e t h e o r i e s I had s u b s c r i b e d t o (and s t i l l 13 employ i n t h e n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e o f d a i l y l i f e ) , and at t e m p t t o see them from a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e . As Zaner e x p l a i n s : To q u e s t i o n i s a l s o f o r t h e q u e s t i o n e r t o draw back from t h a t w h i c h he b r i n g s i n t o q u e s t i o n , t o d i s t a n c e h i m s e l f from i t , i n o r d e r t o q u e s t i o n i t . . . . t h i s d i s t a n c i n g i s a s p e c i f i c s h i f t -i n g o f a t t e n t i o n s i g n i f y i n g a disengagement, w i t h o u t which q u e s t i o n i n g would n o t be p o s s i b l e . . . . ...You s t e p b a c k , as i t were, from t h o s e h i t h e r t o p r e v a i l -i n g c o n c e r n s , and t h i s s t e p p i n g - b a c k and ' t a k i n g - s t o c k ' i n v o l v e s an a p p r e h e n s i o n o f t h o s e a f f a i r s t h a t you had n o t h i t h e r t o n o t i c e d a t a l l , o r i f s o , o n l y m a r g i n a l l y . I n s h o r t , t h e d i s -engagement ... i s a k i n d o f r e f l e c t i v e g r a s p i n g , b o t h o f t h e t h i n g s i n t h e e n v i r o n s and o f y o u r own t y p i c a l ways o f d e a l i n g w i t h them.... W i t h t h i s s h i f t t h e r e emerges t h e r e c o g n i t i o n o f what b e f o r e seemed so o b v i o u s and commonplace t h a t i t c a l l e d no a t t e n t i o n t o i t s e l f . Now you f i n d t h e o b v i o u s q u i t e s u d d e n l y t r a n s f o r m e d . H a v i n g r e c o g n i z e d i t , "we have changed our w o r l d " (1970: 24, 46, 4 7 ) . I s t a r t e d t o see t h e o r i z i n g as a s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e f o r making a c t i v i t i e s and o c c a s i o n s i n t e l l i g i b l e . I came t o u n d e r s t a n d n o t i o n s normal and abnormal n o t as f a c t s w h i c h can be d e s c r i b e d and compared i n some o b j e c t i v e way w i t h one a n o t h e r , b u t as i n t e r p r e t i v e schemes by w h i c h e v e r y d a y a c t i v i t i e s a r e a d j u d g e d , e v a l u a t e d , and o t h e r w i s e made sense o f . I n o t h e r words, I came t o see n o r m a l i t y n o t as a t h i n g t o be r e v e a l e d . I came t o see t h e problems t h a t c o n f r o n t a r e s e a r c h e r who w i s h e s t o t a c k l e t h e t o p i c o f n o r m a l i t y n o t as O f f e r and S a b s h i n (1974) have d e s c r i b e d them. These problems do n o t seem r e l a t e d t o d e f i n i n g c l e a r l y what i s meant by n o r m a l i t y , n o r as r e s t i n g w i t h p o p u l a t i o n s e l e c t i o n . That we would see t h e s e as problems s u g g e s t s t h a t we t a k e n o r m a l i t y as d e f i n a b l e , and t h a t we b e l i e v e t h a t t h e r e i s a r e a l n ormal p o p u l a t i o n w a i t i n g t o be d i s -35 c o v e r e d and d e s c r i b e d . The p r o b l e m s , i t would seem, a r e more r e l a t e d t o our c o n c r e t i z a t i o n o f t h e n o t i o n , and t h e use o f a r e s e a r c h p r o c e d u r e de-r i v e d from a p e r s p e c t i v e w h i c h c l a i m s t h a t n o r m a l and d i s t u r b e d are s o c i a l f a c t s w h i c h e x i s t and d e t e r m i n e what w i l l . b e a v a i l a b l e t o t h e o b s e r v e r . Overview o f t h e C h a p t e r s The c h a p t e r s o f t h i s t h e s i s c o i n c i d e w i t h my j o u r n e y i n t o making sense o f n o r m a l i t y . That i s , I g i v e a s e q u e n t i a l account o f how I came t o r e -frame my way o f s e e i n g t h i s c o n c e p t . I n t h e p r e c e d i n g pages I have d i s -c u s s e d how I came t o see n o r m a l i t y and d i s t u r b a n c e as i n t e r p r e t i v e schemes by w h i c h e v e r y d a y a c t i v i t i e s a re made sense o f , and how I came t o see t h e o r i z i n g as a s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e f o r f i n d i n g a s e n s i b l e w o r l d . T h i s d i s c u s s i o n l a y s t h e f o u n d a t i o n f o r C h a p t e r Two. I n t h i s c h a p t e r , I 14 use my own d a t a as w e l l as t h e i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c t h e o r i e s o f some i n v e s t i -g a t o r s t o argue t h a t a l t h o u g h we might a c c e p t t h e s e t h e o r i e s we do n o t i n e v i t a b l y r e a c h t h e same c o n c l u s i o n s as t h e t h e o r i s t s when we examine th e d a t a upon w h i c h t h e i r d e c i s i o n s are b ased. T h i s e x a m i n a t i o n does n o t i m p l y e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e t h e o r i e s ; i n e v e r y d a y a c t i v i t i e s , t h e o r i e s a r e seen as t h e means by w h i c h we make sense o f t h e w o r l d . But i n s t e a d o f t r e a t i n g t h e s e t h e o r i e s as t h e f a c t s , I p o i n t out t h a t a l t e r n a t e r e a d i n g s o f d a t a g i v e n i n s u p p o r t o f a t h e o r y are always p o s s i b l e . At t h i s p o i n t , o t h e r q u e s t i o n s become p r o b l e m a t i c f o r me. Any g l a n c e a t t h e l i t e r a t u r e w i l l r e v e a l t h a t t h e r e i s no one t h e o r y about t h e n a t u r e o f m e n t a l i l l n e s s -- s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s as w e l l as p r a c t i t i o n e r s put f o r -ward a v a r i e t y o f p o s i t i o n s . Some r e f l e c t t h e p o i n t o f v i e w t h a t a c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n can be made between 'normal' and 'abnormal'. I t t h e r e f o r e became n e c e s s a r y f o r me t o e x t e n d my i n q u i r y i n t o t h i s phenomenon o f t h e o r i z i n g . I s t a r t e d t o ponder t h e q u e s t i o n , what v i e w o f t h e w o r l d must 36 we have t h a t makes i t p o s s i b l e f o r us t o a c c e p t n o r m a l i t y and d i s t u r b a n c e as s omething d e f i n i t e , and what v i e w o f the w o r l d must we have i n o r d e r t o r e j e c t t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e ? S e l e c t e d forms o f t h e o r i z i n g c e n t r a l t o p s y c h i a -t r i c sense making p r a c t i c e s are a d d r e s s e d , and I e x t e n d my i n q u i r y beyond l o c a t i n g t h e o r i z i n g as a sense making p r a c t i c e , and seek t o e x p l i c a t e t h e g e n e s i s o f t h e o r i z i n g . The p o s i t i o n i s t a k e n t h a t t h e o r i z i n g i s n o t d i v o r c e d from t h e s t a t e o f a f f a i r s o f t h e t h e o r i s t . , b u t i s based upon h i s o r h e r c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d . T h i s c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d i s p r e -s e n t e d as an i d e o l o g y . My i n q u i r y a t t h i s p o i n t i s d i r e c t e d towards t h e e x p l i c a t i o n o f t h e i d e o l o g i c a l f o u n d a t i o n s o f p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i z i n g . The t e r m i d e o l o g y i s used f o r want o f a b e t t e r word. I am aware t h a t t h i s t erm has a d e b u n k i n g f l a v o u r , and w i s h t o emphasize t h a t i t i s n o t used h e r e w i t h such i n t e n t . I t i s c o n s i d e r e d s o l e l y as an a n a l y t i c c o n c e p t . I argue t h a t p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i z i n g can be l o c a t e d w i t h i n two com-p e t i n g w o r l d v i e w s . One w o r l d v i e w appears t o be r o o t e d i n t h e t r a d i t i o n o f p o s i t i v i s m . However, t h e r e a r e v a r i o u s o t h e r s c h o o l s o f t h o u g h t w h i c h have i n common t h e i r d i s s e n t from p o s i t i v i s t t r a d i t i o n . One such s c h o o l i s e x i s t e n t i a l p s y c h i a t r y . On t h e o t h e r hand, when we go on t o l o o k a t t h e l e v e l o f p r a c t i c e , we n o t e t h a t even though e x i s t e n t i a l t h e r a p i s t s attempt t o f i n d an a l t e r n a t e t o t h e p o s i t i v i s t t r a d i t i o n , i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r them n o t t o b r i n g some n o t i o n o f c a u s a l i t y t o b e a r on t h e i r work. I t would seem t h a t t h i s i s n o t because t h e y want t o a s s i m i l a t e t h e n a t u r a l s c i e n c e p a r a d i g m , but because i n t h e i r a t t e m p t s t o t r e a t t h e i r c l i e n t s , some e x p l a n a t o r y r e s o u r c e s a r e w a r r a n t e d t o make sense o f t h e phenomena en-c o u n t e r e d i n p r a c t i c e . I use w r i t i n g s o f e x i s t e n t i a l p s y c h i a t r i s t s t o s u b s t a n t i a t e my c l a i m s . I am s u g g e s t i n g t h a t a t t h e . l e v e l o f p r a c t i c e i d e o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s may not be as c l e a r - c u t as t h e t h e o r e t i c a l i d e a l i z a -37 t i o n s . I e m phasize, however, t h a t t h e s e competing w o r l d views g i v e d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i v e s f o r h e l p i n g p e o p l e . I t a k e t h e d i s c u s s i o n f u r t h e r t o show t h a t i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e s e two competing w o r l d v i e w s , t h e r e i s y e t a n o t h e r way o f making sense o f p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i z i n g . A l l p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i z i n g , I have a r g u e d , i s em-bedded i n t h e n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e o f d a i l y l i f e , and I use t h e ' a d u l t i d e o l o g y o f c h i l d h o o d ' ( P a r k i n s o n , 1975), as an example t o e l u c i d a t e t h i s p o i n t . T h i s , i t would seem, c u t s a c r o s s p o s i t i v i s t and e x i s t e n t i a l v i e w s o f p s y c h i a -t r y , and s e r v e s ,'as a f a l l b a c k f o r s o c i o l o g i s t s , p r a c t i t i o n e r s and l a y members o f s o c i e t y when t h e y want t o t a l k about n o r m a l i t y and a b n o r m a l i t y , and t h e development o f d e v i a n t c a r e e r s . The argument i s put f o r w a r d i n C h a p t e r Three t h a t a l t h o u g h r e s e a r c h e r s who have t u r n e d towards communication models o f m e n t a l i l l n e s s see t h i s approach as a r a d i c a l d e p a r t u r e from t h e ' o r g a n i c ' a p p r o a c h ( a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e p h y s i c a l i s t framework) t h e y s t i l l t r e a t t h e i r e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i -g a t i o n s as an e x t e n s i o n o f n a t u r a l s c i e n c e , and some assemble o b j e c t i v e f a c t s t h r o u g h t h e measurement o f s o c i a l phenomena -- more s p e c i f i c a l l y , p e o p l e ' s t a l k . I n o t h e r words, t h e y p r e s e n t us w i t h 'hard d a t a ' . In C h a p t e r F o u r , I t u r n a t t e n t i o n t o how t h e s e f a c t s get assembled. I examine s t u d i e s about t h e c o a l i t i o n a r y p r o c e s s i n f a m i l i e s i n w h i c h measurement t e c h n i q u e s a r e employed i n t h e attempt t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' f a m i l y . How d e c i s i o n s are r e a c h e d by i n v e s t i -g a t o r s t o put a g i v e n datum i n t o a p a r t i c u l a r code c a t e g o r y i s n e v e r made a v a i l a b l e t o u s , n e i t h e r a r e t h e d a t a a v a i l a b l e f o r i n d e p e n d e n t v e r i f i c a -t i o n . I use d a t a from f a m i l i e s t o q u e s t i o n how we make d e c i s i o n s about segments o f t a l k as 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' , o r more f u n d a m e n t a l l y , how we d e c i d e about agreements o r d i s a g r e e m e n t s i n f a m i l y l i f e , 38 w h i c h a r e t a k e n as c o n s t i t u t i v e o f t h e c o a l i t i o n a r y p r o c e s s . U s i n g t h e s e d a t a , I argue t h a t how we come t o make d e c i s i o n s about a p i e c e o f t a l k depends upon t h e b a c k g r o u n d e x p e c t a n c i e s we employ t o u n d e r s t a n d a c t i v i t i e s and o c c a s i o n s . I p r e s e n t an a l t e r n a t e m e t h o d o l o g i c a l p r o c e d u r e t o show how our r e a d i n g o f t a l k i s always dependent upon t h e sense making p r a c t i c e s o f t h e r e s e a r c h e r . I p o i n t t o t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f a method w h i c h presumes t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t o a s s i g n u n q u a l i f i e d meaning t o c e r t a i n e v e n t s , and t o use t h i s as a way o f d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g between normal and d i s -t u r b e d f a m i l y . I f u r t h e r argue i n C h a p t e r F i v e t h a t even though some i n v e s t i g a t o r s would have us b e l i e v e t h a t 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' a r e d i s t i n c t c a t e g o r i e s -- and even i f we a c c e p t t h e i r t h e o r i e s -- i n t a l k i n g t o p e o p l e c o n s i d e r e d t o be d i s t u r b e d we s t i l l have t o use t h e language o f e v e r y d a y l i f e . That i s , t h e r e i s no s p e c i a l language f o r t a l k i n g t o d i s t u r b e d p e o p l e . We t a l k t o p a t i e n t s i n ways t h a t do n o t d e r i v e from t h e f o r m a l t h e o r i e s , so i t i s a p u z z l e how t h i s t a l k i s c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e t h e o r y . I go on t o p o i n t out t h a t however e s o t e r i c t h e c o n t e n t o f p s y c h i a t r y , t a l k t o p a t i e n t s i s d e e p l y embedded i n t h e a t t i t u d e o f d a i l y l i f e -- p s y c h i a t r i c p r o f e s s i o n a l s must use t h e language o f e v e r y d a y l i f e i n t h e i r communication w i t h t r o u b l e d i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s . T h i s t h e s i s marks my c o u r s e i n making sense o f n o r m a l i t y , and my own e x p e r i e n c e o f sense making i s t r e a t e d as a t o p i c o f s t u d y . I see my work as an engagement i n a d i s c u s s i o n about t h e t w i n c o n c e p t s 'normal' and 'abnormal' o r ' d i s t u r b e d ' . But u n l i k e t h o s e i n v e s t i g a t o r s who see t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s as h a v i n g d e f i n i t e p r o p e r t i e s w h i c h a r e i d e n t i f i a b l e , and which d e t e r m i n e what w i l l be a v a i l a b l e t o t h e o b s e r v e r f o r d e s c r i p -t i o n , I s t r e s s t h e a c c o m p l i s h e d c h a r a c t e r o f t h e s e phenomena. In o t h e r 39 words, I t r e a t them as p r o d u c t s o f t h e o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e s o f members o f s o c i e t y . I r a i s e q u e s t i o n s about m e t h o d o l o g i c a l i s s u e s , w h i c h I t h i n k , cannot be i g n o r e d . I argue t h a t i n our q u e s t f o r s c i e n t i f i c o r g a n i z a t i o n o f d a t a , our i n q u i r y i n t o t h e f e a t u r e s o f t h e s o c i a l w o r l d becomes an e x t e n s i o n o f n a t u r a l s c i e n c e ; t h a t i s , we seek p r e c i s i o n i n t h e phenomena we s t u d y by c o d i n g d a t a , m e a s u r i n g d a t a , and the. l i k e . I make th e p o i n t , and use d a t a t o s u b s t a n t i a t e my c l a i m , t h a t t h e s e methods are n o t r e s p o n s i v e t o t h e s t u d y o f s o c i a l phenomena. I n e x a m i n i n g t h e c o a l i t i o n a r y p r o c e s s , f o r example, I q u e s t i o n i f a t t e m p t s t o c o n s t r u c t knowledge i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n p e r m i t us t o say what th e n o t i o n o f c o a l i t i o n s must mean. T h i s work i s not meant t o e v a l u a t e f o r m a l t h e o r i e s . I am n e i t h e r d e bunking t h e o r i e s n o r p r o p o s i n g b e t t e r ones. I m e r e l y w i s h t o argue t h a t t h o s e who e n u n c i a t e t h e t h e o r y f a i l t o t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t t h e t a c i t knowledge employed i n e v e r y d a y d e c i s i o n making about n o t i o n s n o r m a l and t r o u b l e d o r d i s t u r b e d . I w i s h t o emphasize t h a t e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e t h e o r i e s does n o t i m p l y a c r i t i q u e o f t h e p r a c t i c e o f p s y c h i a t r y . I n f a c t , f r o m t h e a c c o u n t s o f p s y c h o t h e r a p i s t s we c o u l d say t h a t p r a c t i t i o n e r s b r i n g t o t h e i r p r a c t i c e much more t h a n t h e i d e a l i z a t i o n s o f f o r m a l t h e o r y , even though t h e s e t h e o r i e s are used as schemas o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . A case i n p o i n t , w h i c h I w i l l d i s c u s s i n more d e t a i l l a t e r , i s an i n t e r v i e w w i t h a c l i n i c i a n who t o l d me about a c o u p l e whom she saw as h a v i n g a s t r o n g c o a l i t i o n between them s i n c e t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p s y c h o t h e r a p y . When p r e s s e d t o say how she came t o r e c o g n i z e t h i s , she used p h r a s e s l i k e " t h e y are c l o s e " , "you can sense i t . " She c o u l d see a c o a l i t i o n even though she c o u l d n o t s t a t e w i t h c l a r i t y how she came t o know t h i s . Now, t h i s was n o t because 40 she was n o t f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e t h e o r i e s , about c o a l i t i o n s -- she d i s -c u s s e d t h e s e w i t h f a c i l i t y , b u t t h e r e was more t o 'knowing' a c o a l i t i o n t h a n was made e x p l i c i t i n the t h e o r y . ^ T h i s s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e e x p e r i e n c e , i n g e n u i t y , communication s k i l l s , and t a c i t knowledge o f t h e p r a c t i t i o n e r employed i n e n c o u n t e r s w i t h c l i e n t s i s n o t made e x p l i c i t i n f o r m a l t h e o r i e s . T h i s i s n o t t o s a y t h a t p r a c t i t i o n e r s do n o t need and r e l y on f o r m a l t h e o r i e s . R a t h e r i t i m p l i e s t h a t t h e y b r i n g u n e x p l i c a t e d r e s o u r c e s t o b e a r on t h e i r work -- r e s o u r c e s t h a t a r e n o t ' c a p t u r e d ' i n t h e t h e o r i e s , and d i s p l a y s t o us t h e entrenchment o f p s y c h i a t r i c p r a c t i c e i n p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n -i n g . . P r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e always b r i n g i n g t h e o r i z i n g t o b e a r on t h e i r work --a l l t h i n k i n g we c o u l d say i s t h e o r i z i n g . T h i s does n o t mean, however, t h a t t h i s must f i t i n t o some e x p l i c i t f o r m a l t h e o r y . A t h i r d p o i n t w a r r a n t s comment. I examine the t r a n s f e r o f t h e s c i e n t i f i c p e r s p e c t i v e as t h i s i s e x p l i c a t e d by Durkheim and adopted by l a t e r day i n v e s t i g a t o r s i n t h e s t u d y o f s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . L e t me s t r e s s t h a t t h i s i s n o t an i n d i c t m e n t o f s c i e n c e , and so t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n s h o u l d n o t be r e a d as p r e s e n t i n g an a n t i - s c i e n c e p o i n t o f v i e w . The i s s u e i n q u e s t i o n h e r e i s t h e t r a n s f e r o f t h e t r a p p i n g s o f s c i e n c e t o t h e s t u d y o f s o c i a l phenomena, and I ask i f t h e s e methods p e r m i t us t o s a y , f o r example, what t h e n o t i o n o f c o a l i t i o n s must mean t o man and woman i n e v e r y d a y l i f e . By a d d r e s s i n g t h e s e p o i n t s , I hope t o make c l e a r how my work i s i n t e n d e d . I s h a l l now examine i n more d e t a i l how I came t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e o r i z -i n g , as t h i s seems o f most immediate c o n c e r n i n t h e p u r s u i t o f t h i s d i s -c u s s i o n . T h i s t o p i c w i l l be t a k e n up i n C h a p t e r Two. 41 F o o t n o t e s F o r some works on f a m i l i e s see f o r example, C l a u s e n ( 1 9 6 6 ) ; P a r s o n s and B a l e s ( 1 9 5 5 ) ; B e l l and V o g e l ( 1 9 6 0 ) ; K a n t o r and L e h r ( 1 9 7 5 ) ; Lewis ( 1 9 6 2 ) ; C a r t e r and M c G o l d r i c k ( 1 9 8 0 ) ; H a l e y (1971). F o r p o p u l a r views on t h e f a m i l y , see f o r example, " S a v i n g t h e F a m i l y " , Newsweek, (May 15, 1978): 63-90. 2 S e e , f o r example, Levy ( 1 9 7 2 ) ; H o l t e r ( 1 9 7 2 ) ; Freeman (1972 ) ; B e r g e r (1972); S k o l n i c k and S k o l n i c k (1971). 3 A d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e f o l l o w s s h o r t l y . 4 There a r e a v a r i e t y o f c o n c e p t i o n s about n o r m a l i t y , f o r example, t h e s t a t i s t i c a l o r demographic. I w i s h t o emphasize, however, t h a t t h i s t h e s i s i s c o n f i n e d t o a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e t o p i c o f n o r m a l i t y as i t d e r i v e s from s o c i o l o g i c a l and c l i n i c a l v e r s i o n s o f normal and d i s t u r b e d communication p a t t e r n s i n f a m i l i e s . As s u c h , i t does n o t a d d r e s s t h e demo-g r a p h i c n o t i o n s o f n o r m a l i t y . I t c o u l d perhaps be argued t h a t demographic o r s t a t i s t i c a l n o t i o n s o f n o r m a l i t y a r e b r o u g h t t o b e a r upon c l i n i c a l v e r s i o n s . To t h e e x t e n t t h a t s i n g l e p a r e n t f a m i l i e s and d i v o r c e a r e no l o n g e r c o n s i d e r e d a n o m a l i e s , t h e n one c o u l d s a y t h a t t h e f r e q u e n c y w i t h w h i c h t h e s e o c c u r have an impact upon t h e ways i n w h i c h we c o n s t r u c t n o r m a l i t y and d e v i a n c e . We need t o r a i s e a n o t h e r q u e s t i o n , however, wh i c h I t h i n k i s h i g h l y r e l e v a n t t o c l i n i c a l p r a c t i c e . A r e m o r a l d e c i s i o n s made on t h e b a s i s o f demographic t r e n d s ? Our n o t i o n s o f what i s m o r a l o r what i s n o r m a l may h o t be d e r i v e d from s t a t i s t i c s , but f r o m a m o r a l o r d e r w h i c h may be i n d e p e n d e n t o f s t a t i s t i c s . Even i f we a r e t o l d t h a t t h e d i v o r c e r a t e has i n c r e a s e d , and t h a t t h e p e r c e n t a g e o f s i n g l e p a r e n t s i s h i g h e r now t h a n b e f o r e , t h i s need n o t s e r v e as a b a s i s f o r d e c i s i o n making. F u r t h e r m o r e , we c o u l d go on t o argue t h a t even though s t a t i s t i c s may show c e r t a i n t r e n d s , i n e v e r y -day l i f e , p e o p l e s t i l l want t o be c o u p l e d , and g e t t i n g s e p a r a t e d o r d i v o r c e d i s s t i l l seen by some as t r a u m a t i c enough t o w a r r a n t p s y c h o t h e r a p y . F u r t h e r m o r e , some p e o p l e s t i l l seek p s y c h o t h e r a p y t o p r e v e n t d i v o r c e . A l t h o u g h t h e r a p i s t and p a t i e n t a r e c o g n i z a n t o f s t a t i s t i c s , t h i s need n o t s e r v e as t h e b a s i s f o r making d e c i s i o n s as t o how t h e r a p i s t s s h o u l d p r o c e e d i n t h e r a p y w i t h i n d i v i d u a l p a t i e n t s . Our commonsense n o t i o n s about 'normal f a m i l y l i f e ' , ' c o u p l i n g ' , ' h a v i n g two p a r e n t s ' , a r e d e e p l y embedded i n w e s t e r n t r a d i t i o n . I t would seem t h a t o u r i d e a s about n o r m a l , n a t u r a l f a m i l y l i f e i s one t h i n g , and s t a t i s t i c s i s a n o t h e r . Even though we a r e aware o f c e r t a i n demographic t r e n d s p e o p l e s t i l l want t o be c o u p l e d . M e r c e r , a s i n g l e p e r s o n , i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s i n an i n s i g h t f u l a r t i c l e : "The f i r s t t h i n g t h a t any w e l l b a l a n c e d s i n g l e must l e a r n i s t h a t v i r t u a l l y a n y t h i n g he o r she does can q u a l i f y under t h e h e a d i n g o f ' t r a i n i n g ' . . . . ...But what, u l t i m a t e l y , i s t h e p u r p o s e o f a l l t h i s a c t i -v i t y and ' t r a i n i n g ' ? F o r t h e s i n g l e t h e answer i s f o u r f o l d . . . . The monarch o f r e a s o n s i s t h e f o u r t h . Many - i t c o u l d even be s a i d , most - s i n g l e s a r e i n t r a i n i n g t o get out o f t h e c l u b . They want s i n c e r e l y t o be, i f n o t m a r r i e d , a t l e a s t 42 ' d o u b l e s ' . S i n g l e h o o d i s a p l a c e on t h e r o a d t o somewhere e l s e ; a p l a c e t o be as c o m f o r t a b l e as p o s s i b l e w h i l e you w a i t . A w a i t i n g room" (November-December 1980: 3 5 ) . M e r c e r i s t a l k i n g about p e o p l e who have been m a r r i e d as w e l l as t h o s e who have n e v e r been m a r r i e d . T h i s a r t i c l e h i g h l i g h t s t h e f a c t t h a t a l t h o u g h s t a t i s t i c s may say one t h i n g , i t does n o t t a k e i n t o a ccount how we con-s t r u c t what i s normal o r n a t u r a l i n e v e r y d a y l i f e . A l t h o u g h sometimes i n s o c i e t y p e o p l e a p p e a l t o s t a t i s t i c s t o d e f i n e n o r m a l i t y , t h i s does n o t make s t a t i s t i c s t h e j u d g e . Even i f we d i d n o t have s t a t i s t i c s , we would s t i l l have some n o t i o n o f a f u n d a m e n t a l m o r a l o r d e r , s h a r e d by us i n o u r e v e r y d a y l i v e s . 5 T h i s t h e o r e t i c a l and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e i s d e r i v e d from t h e works o f S c h u t z (1964, 1973, 1967); G a r f i n k e l ( 1 9 6 7 ) ; C i c o u r e l (1964, 1976); Wieder (1974) ;.Zimmerman and P o l l n e r ( 1 9 7 0 ) ; T u r n e r ( 1 9 7 4 ) ; Sudnow ( 1 9 6 7 ) . The f o c u s o f t h i s t h e s i s i s n o t t o g i v e a d e t a i l e d e x p o s i t i o n o f t h e n a t u r a l s c i e n c e p e r s p e c t i v e . What i s o f i n t e r e s t h e r e i s t h a t o r t h o d o x s o c i o l o g y , and by t h i s I am making s p e c i f i c r e f e r e n c e t o Durkheim's work, and t h e d i r e c t i v e s f o r d o i n g s o c i o l o g y i n h i s The R u l e s o f S o c i o l o g i c a l  Method, t r e a t s o c i a l f a c t s as ' t h i n g s ' w h i c h e x i s t i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f t h e p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n i n g o f a c t o r s i n d a i l y l i f e . I t i s up t o t h e s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t t o go out and l o c a t e t h e s e o b j e c t i v e f a c t s , and t o s e p a r a t e t h e s e from a c t o r s ' commonsense r e a s o n i n g s . The s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t can t h e n e s t a b l i s h r e l a t i o n s h i p s between t h e s e o b j e c t i v e f a c t s . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , ethnomethodology emphasizes, e v e n t s as c o n s t i t u t e d by t h e s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d p r o c e d u r e s o f members o f s o c i e t y . To quote f r o m G a r f i n k e l : " I n c o n t r a s t t o c e r t a i n v e r s i o n s o f Durkheim t h a t t e a c h t h a t t h e o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y o f s o c i a l f a c t s i s s o c i o l o g y ' s f u n d a m e n t a l p r i n c i p l e , t h e l e s s o n i s t a k e n i n s t e a d , and used as a s t u d y p o l i c y , t h a t t h e o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y o f s o c i a l f a c t s as_ an on-g o i n g accomplishment o f t h e c o n c e r t e d a c t i v i t i e s o f d a i l y l i f e , w i t h t h e o r d i n a r y a r t f u l ways o f t h a t accomplishment b e i n g by members known, u s e d , and t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d , i s , f o r members d o i n g s o c i o l o g y , a f u n d a m e n t a l phenomenon" (1967: v i i ) . 7 T h i s s h o u l d .not be t a k e n t o mean t h a t e t h n o m e t h o d o l o g i s t s doubt t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a ' r e a l w o r l d ' . T u r n e r a r g u e s : " I n n o t i n g t h a t f o r members a ' r e a l w o r l d ' i s i n d u b i t a b l y j u s t t h e r e , w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e t o i t s a c c o m p l i s h e d c h a r a c t e r , t h e l a s t t h i n g i t has i n mind i s t o c a s t s y s t e m a t i c doubt upon t h e ' e x i s t e n c e o f a r e a l w o r l d ' . On t h e c o n t r a r y , t h a t t h e r e i s an o b s e r v a b l e ' r e a l w o r l d ' i s i t s p o i n t o f o r i g i n : i t s d e s t i n a -t i o n i s a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e work members do t o s u s t a i n a s o c i a l o r d e r i n which t h e r e a r e ' s u i c i d e s ' , ' e t h n i c g r o u p s ' , ' c l e a r m a t t e r s o f f a c t ' , and t h e r e s t o f t h e f u r n i t u r e o f e v e r y -day l i f e . S c e p t i c i s m and doubt e n t e r o n l y i n so f a r as f o r t h e members t h e y a r e s a n c t i o n e d phenomena: t h e c o n d i t i o n s under w h i c h members a r e e n t i t l e d t o d i s p l a y s c e p t i c i s m , t h e f e a t u r e s o f t h e w o r l d t h e y a r e w a r r a n t e d i n d o u b t i n g - t h e s e a r e them-s e l v e s a s p e c t s o f p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n i n g , and hence p r o p e r m a t t e r f o r t h e s t u d y o f s o c i a l o r d e r " (1974: 1 1 ) . 43 Much has been w r i t t e n on d i s t u r b e d f a m i l i e s . Here a r e some examples: Doane (1978); Henry ( 1 9 7 1 ) ; L a i n g ( 1 9 7 2 ) ; L a i n g and E s t e r s o n ( 1 9 7 3 ) ; Ackerman ( 1 9 6 6 ) ; S t e i n ( 1 9 7 3 ) ; S a t i r (1967, 1972); H a l e y and Hoffman ( 1 9 6 7 ) ; B a t e s o n e t a l (1956, 1972); Friedman (1971 ) . 9 The q u e s t i o n may be r a i s e d as t o whether o r n o t t h e s e f a m i l i e s a r e a ' r e p r e s e n t a t i v e ' sample. I w i s h t o make th e p o i n t , however, t h a t t h e i s s u e o f s a m p l i n g does n o t a r i s e , as t h i s s t u d y i s n o t a r e p o r t on ' r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s ' . I am n o t u s i n g t h e d a t a t o c h a r a c t e r i z e n o r m a l f a m i l i e s . I n -s t e a d , I am u s i n g d a t a from f a m i l i e s t o q u e s t i o n t h e t h e o r i e s about n o r m a l and d i s t u r b e d f a m i l i e s . A c e n t r a l argument i n my work i s t h a t t h e s e t h e o r i e s do n o t g i v e us i n s t r u c t i o n s t h a t h e l p us t o make d e c i s i o n s about normal f a m i l i e s . I f t h e t h e o r y does n o t h e l p us t o l o c a t e n o r m a l i t y i n one f a m i l y , t h e n how would i t h e l p us t o l o c a t e n o r m a l i t y i n 100? ^ 1 borrow t h e term competence from G a r f i n k e l . He s t a t e s : " I use t h e t e r m 'competence' t o mean th e c l a i m t h a t a c o l l e c -t i v i t y member i s e n t i t l e d t o e x e r c i s e t h a t he i s c a p a b l e o f managing h i s e v e r y d a y a f f a i r s w i t h o u t i n t e r f e r e n c e " (1967: 5 7 ) . When I s t a r t e d t h i s s t u d y I was i n f l u e n c e d by t h e w r i t i n g s o f J u l e s Henry (1971). However, d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f my d o c t o r a l s t u d i e s , I became f a m i l i a r w i t h o t h e r v e r s i o n s o f e t h n o g r a p h i c work, f o r example, S t o d d a r t ( 1 9 7 4 ) ; Sudnow ( 1 9 6 7 ) ; and t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l p e r s p e c t i v e o f ethnomethodology. 12 I t a l k e d w i t h a number o f p r a c t i t i o n e r s about t h e n o t i o n o f n o r -m a l i t y , and how t h e y use t h e o r i e s i n e v e r y d a y p r a c t i c e . These d i s c u s s i o n s appear t h r o u g h o u t t h e t h e s i s . We s h o u l d n o t e t h a t t h e y f o c u s e d on t a c i t t y p e d e c i s i o n making. That i s , a l t h o u g h t h e y were aware o f t h e o r i e s , how t h e y r e a c h e d d e c i s i o n s c o u l d n o t be e x p l a i n e d by t h e t h e o r y . L e t me r emind th e r e a d e r t h a t my f o c u s i s n o t on t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e c o n c e p t o f n o r m a l i t y i n e v e r y d a y p r a c t i c e -- t h a t i s , I d i d n o t o b s e r v e t h e r a p i s t s i n t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h c l i e n t s . R a t h e r , I seek t o q u e s t i o n i f t h e t h e o r i e s h e l p us t o i d e n t i f y n ormal f a m i l y . 13 Over t h e p a s t months I have done some work as a c o t h e r a p i s t w i t h a p s y c h i a t r i s t . A l t h o u g h t h i s was n o t meant t o be f i e l d w o r k , i t p e r -m i t t e d me t o d i s c u s s p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i z i n g from my own e x p e r i e n c e s . I have t h e r e f o r e made my d i r e c t e x p e r i e n c e s i n t o a t o p i c o f i n q u i r y . I n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n I am u s i n g i d e a l t y p i c a l terms i n my a t t e m p t s t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between r e s e a r c h a p p r o a c h e s . I draw upon C i c o u r e l ' s c a t e -g o r i e s (1976: 8 ) , ' i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c d a t a ' , and 'hard d a t a ' . I n C h a p t e r Two I d i s c u s s what I t a k e t o be ' i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c ' a c c o u n t s , whereas i n C h a p t e r Four I a t t e n d t o t h o s e s t u d i e s w h i c h p r e s e n t 'hard d a t a ' . T h e o r i s t s who g i v e i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c a c c o u n t s a c c o r d i n g t o C i c o u r e l , " o f t e n b e l i e v e t h e b a s i c s o c i a l p r o c e s s e s o f e v e r y d a y l i f e cannot be q u a n t i f i e d d i r e c t l y w i t h -out l o s i n g t h e e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s o f the i n t e r a c t i o n " (1976: 12). At a c u r s o r y g l a n c e one might be i n c l i n e d t o say t h a t i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c t h e o r i s t s seek an a l t e r n a t e approach t o t h o s e who a t t e m p t t o p r o v i d e 'hard d a t a ' , but I argue i n l a t e r c h a p t e r s t h a t t h e n a t u r a l s c i e n c e approach u n d e r l i e s t h e i r i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . 44 P o l a n y i l u c i d l y d i s c u s s e s t h e n o t i o n t h a t we know more t h a n we can v e r b a l i z e . He s t a t e s : " I s h a l l r e c o n s i d e r human knowledge by s t a r t i n g from t h e f a c t t h a t we can know more t h a n we can t e l l . T h i s f a c t seems o b v i o u s enough; but i t i s not easy t o say e x a c t l y what i t means. Take an example. We know a p e r s o n ' s f a c e , and can r e c o g n i z e i t among a t h o u s a n d , i n d e e d among a m i l l i o n . Y et we u s u a l l y cannot t e l l how we r e c o g n i z e a f a c e we know. So most o f t h i s knowledge cannot be put i n t o words. But t h e p o l i c e have r e c e n t l y i n t r o d u c e d a method by wh i c h we can communicate much o f t h i s knowledge. They have made a l a r g e c o l l e c t i o n o f p i c t u r e s showing a v a r i e t y o f n o s e s , mouths, and o t h e r f e a t u r e s . From t h e s e t h e w i t n e s s s e l e c t s t h e p a r -t i c u l a r s o f t h e f a c e he knows, and t h e p i e c e s can t h e n be put t o g e t h e r t o form a r e a s o n a b l y good l i k e n e s s o f t h e f a c e . T h i s may s u g g e s t t h a t we can communicate, a f t e r a l l , our knowledge o f a physiognomy, p r o v i d e d we are g i v e n adequate means f o r e x p r e s s i n g o u r s e l v e s . But t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e p o l i c e method does n o t change t h e f a c t t h a t p r e v i o u s t o i t we d i d know more t h a n we c o u l d t e l l a t t h e t i m e . M o r e o v e r , we can use t h e p o l i c e method o n l y by knowing how t o match t h e f e a t u r e s we remember w i t h t h o s e i n t h e c o l l e c t i o n , and we cannot t e l l how we do t h i s . T h i s v e r y a c t o f communication d i s p l a y s a knowledge t h a t we cannot t e l l " (1967: 4-5). 45 CHAPTER 2 THEORIZING AND PERSPECTIVES ON NORMAL AND DISTURBED FAMILY I s t a t e d e a r l i e r t h a t i n r e f l e c t i n g upon f o r m a l t h e o r i e s about normal and d i s t u r b e d f a m i l i e s , I came t o see t h e o r i z i n g as a s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e f o r r e n d e r i n g e v e n t s and o c c a s i o n s i n t e l l i g i b l e . I n t h i s c h a p t e r I s h a l l c o n s i d e r i n more d e t a i l t h e phenomenon o f t h e o r i z i n g . , Let me b r i e f l y r e v i e w t h e argument t o be d e v e l o p e d h e r e . I b e g i n by a r g u i n g t h a t i n o r d e r t o meet t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t h e i r j o b , p r a c t i t i o n e r s employ a v a r i e t y o f t h e o r i e s . T h i s p e r m i t s them t o d e c i d e who needs h e l p and who does n o t , s t r a t e g i e s t o be used i n p s y c h o t h e r a p y , and so f o r t h . The p r a c t i c e o f p s y c h o t h e r a p y can t h e r e f o r e be seen as a t h e o r y governed a c t i v i t y . I f u r t h e r p o i n t out t h a t t h e c o n c e p t o f n o r m a l i t y i s always o p e r a t i n g ( i m p l i c i t l y o r e x p l i c i t l y ) as a background a g a i n s t w h i c h d e c i s i o n s a r e made about what can be c o n s i d e r e d a t r o u b l e t h a t w a r r a n t s t h e r a p y . To f u r t h e r d i s c u s s t h e t o p i c o f t h e o r i z i n g , I examine how some t h e o r i s t s ( i n p a r t i c u l a r , t h o s e who p r e s e n t i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c a c c o u n t s ) , a r r i v e a t d e c i s i o n s about n o r m a l and d i s t u r b e d f a m i l y . T h i s e x a m i n a t i o n l e a d s me t o c o n c l u d e t h a t a l t h o u g h we might a c c e p t f o r m a l t h e o r i e s i n t h e n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e o f d a i l y l i f e as p r o v i d i n g adequate e x p l a n a t i o n s o f d i s -t u r b a n c e s i n f a m i l y l i f e , we do n o t i n e v i t a b l y r e a c h t h e same d e c i s i o n s as t h e t h e o r i s t s when we r e v i e w t h e d a t a upon w h i c h t h e i r c o n c l u s i o n s a r e based. T a l k can be g i v e n more t h a n one r e a d i n g , and t h e way i n w h i c h we a r r i v e a t our d e c i s i o n s i s embedded i n t h e schemas t h r o u g h w h i c h t h i s t a l k i s i n t e r p r e t e d . To f u r t h e r e l u c i d a t e t h i s p o i n t , I use d a t a o b t a i n e d 46 from f a m i l i e s t o show t h a t we can a r r i v e a t o t h e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f f a m i l y l i f e when we a t t e n d t o some s i t u a t i o n s w h i c h a r e a s c r i b e d p s y c h i a t r i c r e l e v a n c e by f o r m a l t h e o r i s t s . The c e n t r a l i s s u e w h i c h emerges from t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s t h a t f o r m a l t h e o r i e s o f t h e m s e l v e s do not ac c o u n t f o r how d e c i s i o n s a r e made i n e v e r y -day l i f e -- f o r m a l t h e o r i e s a r e b u t an e x p l a n a t o r y r e s o u r c e t h a t i s b r o u g h t t o b e a r on p r a c t i c e . Knowing f o r m a l t h e o r i e s i s a mark o f p r o f e s s i o n a l competence, b u t t h e o n g o i n g t h e o r i z i n g o f t h e p r a c t i t i o n e r does n o t have t o ' f i t ' i n t o some f o r m a l t h e o r y . A l t h o u g h p s y c h i a t r i c p r a c t i c e can be v i e w e d as a t h e o r y governed a c t i v i t y , t h e t h e o r i e s o f t h e m s e l v e s w i l l n e v e r a c c o u n t f o r t h e management o f e v e r y d a y d e c i s i o n making, because t h e p r a c t i -c a l r e a s o n i n g o f t h e p r a c t i t i o n e r i s n e v e r made e x p l i c i t i n t h e t h e o r y . I t can be argued t h a t p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i z i n g i s i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d w i t h t h e c l a i m s made by p s y c h i a t r y about what i t c o n s i d e r s i t s p r e r o g a t i v e ; t h e s e c l a i m s p r o v i d e t h e bac k g r o u n d a g a i n s t w h i c h t h e o r i z i n g s h o u l d be u n d e r s t o o d . I n r e v i e w i n g t h e s e c l a i m s , we n o t e t h a t p r a c t i t i o n e r s (and by p r a c t i t i o n e r s I r e f e r n o t o n l y t o p s y c h i a t r i s t s b u t t o a l l h e a l t h p r o -f e s s i o n a l s who a r e engaged i n t h e p r a c t i c e o f p s y c h i a t r y ) and l a y p e r s o n s who seek p s y c h i a t r i c h e l p a r e g e n e r a l l y i n agreement t h a t t h e t a s k o f p s y c h i a t r y i s t o help''' p e o p l e who a r e e x p e r i e n c i n g t r o u b l e s o r d i s t r e s s . I t i s g e n e r a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t p s y c h i a t r i c t r o u b l e s a r e r e c o g n i z a b l e t h r o u g h t h e p a t i e n t ' s communicative b e h a v i o r , and some p s y c h i a t r i s t s say t h a t t h e d i s c i p l i n e i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r r e m e d y i n g d e f e c t i v e p r o c e s s e s o f communica-t i o n . Ruesch s t a t e s : P e o p l e l i v e , b u t s u c c e s s f u l l i v i n g i s an a r t w h i c h i s n o t mas t e r e d by a l l . Those who f e e l t h i s f a i l u r e - t h e p a t i e n t s -seek improvement, and t h o s e who b e l i e v e t h a t t h e y know about f a i l u r e - t h e t h e r a p i s t s - a t t e m p t t o i n d u c e improvement.... I t i s t h e t a s k o f p s y c h i a t r y t o h e l p t h o s e who have f a i l e d t o e x p e r i e n c e s u c c e s s f u l communication.... 47 P s y c h o p a t h o l o g y i s d e f i n e d i n terms o f d i s t u r b a n c e o f communication. T h i s s t a t e m e n t may come as a s u r p r i s e , b u t i f t h e r e a d e r c a r e s t o open a t e x t b o o k on p s y c h i a t r y and t o r e a d about t h e m a n i c - d e p r e s s i v e o r t h e s c h i z o p h r e n i c p s y c h o s i s , f o r example, he i s l i k e l y t o f i n d terms such as " i l l u s i o n s , " " d e l u s i o n s , " " h a l l u c i n a t i o n s , " " f l i g h t o f i d e a s , " " d i s a s s o c i a -t i o n , " "mental r e t a r d a t i o n , " " e l a t i o n , " " w i t h d r a w a l , " and many o t h e r s , w h i c h r e f e r s p e c i f i c a l l y t o d i s t u r b a n c e s o f communica-t i o n ; t h e y i m p l y e i t h e r t h a t p e r c e p t i o n i s d i s t o r t e d o r t h a t e x p r e s s i o n - t h a t i s , t r a n s m i s s i o n - i s u n i n t e l l i g i b l e . . . . The t a s k o f t h e modern t h e r a p i s t can be compared t o t h e t a s k o f t h e maintenance e n g i n e e r o r o f t h e t r o u b l e - s h o o t e r who r e p a i r s t h e g r e a t o v e r l a n d power l i n e s . The t h e r a p i s t aims f i r s t a t u n d e r s t a n d i n g d i s t u r b a n c e s o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n , and as a r e s u l t o f t h i s , t o c o r r e c t d e f e c t i v e p r o c e s s e s o f communica-t i o n (1951: 50, 79-80, 9 1 - 9 2 ) . From t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f B a n d l e r and G r i n d e r (1975: 45) p s y c h i a t r y i s seen as h e l p i n g p e o p l e w i t h i m p o v e r i s h e d models o f t h e w o r l d t o see a r i c h e r s e t o f c h o i c e s . They have t h i s t o say about p e o p l e who need h e l p : Our e x p e r i e n c e has been t h a t , when p e o p l e come t o us i n t h e r a p y , t h e y t y p i c a l l y come w i t h p a i n , f e e l i n g t h e m s e l v e s p a r a l y z e d , e x p e r i e n c i n g no c h o i c e s o r freedom o f a c t i o n i n t h e i r l i v e s . What we have found i s n o t t h a t t h e w o r l d i s t o o l i m i t e d o r t h a t t h e r e a r e no c h o i c e s , b u t t h a t t h e s e p e o p l e b l o c k t h e m s e l v e s from s e e i n g t h o s e o p t i o n s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s t h a t a r e open t o them s i n c e t h e y a r e n o t a v a i l a b l e i n t h e i r models o f t h e i r w o r l d . A l m o s t e v e r y human b e i n g i n o u r c u l t u r e i n h i s l i f e c y c l e has a number o f p e r i o d s o f change and t r a n s i t i o n w h i c h he must n e g o t i a t e . D i f f e r e n t forms o f p s y c h o t h e r a p y have d e v e l o p e d v a r i o u s c a t e g o r i e s f o r t h e s e i m p o r t a n t t r a n s i t i o n - c r i s i s p o i n t s . What's p e c u l i a r i s t h a t some p e o p l e a r e a b l e t o n e g o t i a t e t h e s e p e r i o d s o f change w i t h l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y , e x p e r i e n c i n g t h e s e p e r i o d s as t i m e s o f i n t e n s e energy and c r e a t i v i t y . O t h e r p e o p l e , f a c e d w i t h t h e same c h a l l e n g e s , e x p e r i e n c e t h e s e p e r i o d s as t i m e s o f d r e a d and p a i n - p e r i o d s t o be endured, when t h e i r p r i m a r y c o n c e r n i s s i m p l e s u r v i v a l . The d i f f e r e n c e between t h e s e two groups appears t o us t o be p r i m a r i l y t h a t t h e p e o p l e who r e s p o n d c r e a t i v e l y t o and cope e f f e c t i v e l y w i t h t h i s s t r e s s a r e p e o p l e who have a r i c h r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o r model o f t h e i r s i t u a t i o n , one i n w h i c h t h e y p e r c e i v e a wide range o f o p t i o n s i n c h o o s i n g t h e i r a c t i o n s . The o t h e r p e o p l e e x p e r i e n c e t h e m s e l v e s as h a v i n g few o p t i o n s , none o f wh i c h a r e a t t r a c t i v e t o them - t h e " n a t u r a l l o s e r " game. The q u e s t i o n f o r us i s : How i s i t p o s s i b l e f o r d i f f e r e n t human b e i n g s f a c e d w i t h t h e same w o r l d t o have such d i f f e r e n t e x p e r i e n c e s ? Our u n d e r s t a n d i n g i s t h a t t h i s d i f f e r e n c e f o l l o w s p r i m a r i l y from d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e r i c h n e s s o f t h e i r models. Thus, t h e q u e s t i o n becomes: How i s i t p o s s i b l e f o r human b e i n g s t o m a i n t a i n an i m p o v e r i s h e d model w h i c h causes them p a i n i n t h e f a c e o f a m u l t i - v a l u e d , r i c h , and complex w o r l d ? 48 I n coming t o u n d e r s t a n d how i t i s t h a t some p e o p l e con-t i n u e t o cause t h e m s e l v e s p a i n and a n g u i s h , i t has been impor-t a n t f o r us t o r e a l i z e t h a t t h e y a r e n o t bad, c r a z y , o r s i c k . They a r e , i n f a c t , making t h e b e s t c h o i c e s from t h o s e o f w h i c h t h e y a r e aware, t h a t i s , t h e b e s t c h o i c e s a v a i l a b l e i n t h e i r own p a r t i c u l a r model (1975: 13-14). A l t h o u g h a l m o s t t h r e e decades s e p a r a t e t h e w r i t i n g s o f Ruesch from B a n d l e r and G r i n d e r , and a l t h o u g h one c o u l d l o c a t e d i f f e r e n t i d e o l o g i c a l u n d e r p i n n i n g s i n t h e i r c o n c e p t i o n s o f p s y c h i a t r y , one t h i n g seems c l e a r . They a l l c l a i m t h a t t h e r e a r e ' s u c c e s s f u l ' and ' u n s u c c e s s f u l ' ways o f l i v i n g . They a l s o c l a i m t h a t p s y c h i a t r y can h e l p p e o p l e . From Ruesch's p o i n t o f v i e w , t h o s e who have f a i l e d t o e x p e r i e n c e s u c c e s s f u l c ommunication, t h r o u g h p s y c h i a t r y , a r e p r o v i d e d w i t h r e m e d i a l measures, and as we see from B a n d l e r and G r i n d e r , p s y c h o t h e r a p y h e l p s p e o p l e t o e x p e r i e n c e a r i c h e r s e t o f c h o i c e s . But t h e r e i s a n o t h e r e s s e n t i a l t e n e t t h a t u n d e r l i e s t h e p r a c t i c e o f p s y c h o t h e r a p i e s -- t h a t i s , p e o p l e can change t h e i r p a t t e r n s o f communicative b e h a v i o r . As Ruesch p u t s i t : A p s y c h o t h e r a p i s t approaches human b e h a v i o r w i t h -the, c l e a r u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t he i s n o t o n l y i n t e r e s t e d i n s t u d y -i n g and o b s e r v i n g p e o p l e ' s a c t i o n s b u t a l s o t h a t he i s s p e c i f i c a l l y c o n c e n t r a t i n g upon t h o s e a s p e c t s o f b e h a v i o r w h i c h i n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e r a p y a r e l i k e l y t o change (1951: 5 1 ) . And, B a n d l e r and G r i n d e r i n d i c a t e t h a t : Whatever t h e s c h o o l o f t h e r a p y and w h a t e v e r i t s t y p i c a l emphasis and form o f t r e a t m e n t , when s u c c e s s f u l i t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y i n v o l v e s two f e a t u r e s : (1) A l a r g e amount o f communication i i i . t h e form o f language. (2) A change i n t h e c l i e n t ' s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n / m o d e l o f t h e w o r l d . (1975: 45) . T h i s b e l i e f , t h a t p e o p l e can change, i s f u n d a m e n t a l t o a l l forms o f p s y c h o t h e r a p y , and p r o v i d e s t h e r a i s o n d' e t r e f o r p s y c h i a t r y . Through t h e p r o c e s s o f p s y c h o t h e r a p y t h e c l i e n t and t h e r a p i s t e x p l o r e communicative b e h a v i o r , under t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e c l i e n t , w i t h t h e t h e r a p i s t ' s g u i d a n c e , w i l l be a b l e t o remedy what t h e t h e r a p i s t t a k e s t o be communica-49 t i v e t r o u b l e s and d i s o r d e r s . B a n d l e r and G r i n d e r s t a t e t h a t even i n p h y s i c a l t h e r a p i e s , t h e t h e r a p i s t and c l i e n t t y p i c a l l y t a l k t o one a n o t h e r (1975: 5 5 ) . I t would seem t h a t any form o f t h e r a p y might be adjudged t o be s u c c e s s f u l when t h e c l i e n t shows changes i n communicative b e h a v i o r a c c o r d a n t w i t h what th e t h e r a p i s t i n t e r p r e t s as improvement i n t h e c l i e n t ' s a b i l i t y t o communicate, and t o e x p e r i e n c e a r i c h e r s e t o f c h o i c e s i n t h e w o r l d . A q u e s t i o n t h a t a r i s e s a t t h i s t i m e i s , how does p s y c h i a t r y make  d e c i s i o n s about what c o n s t i t u t e s d i s t u r b a n c e s i n c o m m u n i c a t i o n , and who needs h e l p ? We can say w i t h some a s s u r a n c e t h a t n o t everyone who c o n s i d e r s h i m s e l f o r h e r s e l f t o be i n need o f h e l p i s so p e r c e i v e d by p s y c h i a t r i c p r a c t i t i o n e r s . We'also know t h a t p s y c h i a t r y may see some p e o p l e as n e e d i n g h e l p , who t h e m s e l v e s do n o t p e r c e i v e t h i s need. P r a c t i t i o n e r s , i f t h e y a r e t o get on w i t h t h e i r j o b s must make d e c i s i o n s -- d e c i s i o n s w h i c h can be c o u n t e d as ' p r o f e s s i o n a l ' o p i n i o n s . I n c o n s i d e r i n g how d e c i s i o n s a r e r e a c h e d i n e v e r y d a y p r a c t i c e , I t a l k e d w i t h a c l i n i c i a n who was i n c harge o f s c r e e n i n g a d m i s s i o n s t o a p s y c h i a t r i c h o s p i t a l . She had t h e a u t h o r i t y t o admit o r n o t t o admit p a t i e n t s based upon h e r assessment o f them. I p r e s e n t our d i s c u s s i o n n o t t o e v a l u a t e o r q u e s t i o n h e r a c t i o n s , b u t t o show t h a t d e c i d i n g who needs h e l p i s no s i m p l e m a t t e r : 2.1 C l i n i c i a n : You have t o f i n d out why t h e y t u r n up a t t h r e e o ' c l o c k i n t h e m orning. What i s t h e r e a l m o t i v a t i n g f a c t o r . I can t h i n k o f one woman. With t h i s p a r t i c u l a r woman i t was f i r s t t r y i n g t o get t h r o u g h h e r ' c r a z y b e h a v i o r ' , t o see i f i t was r e a l o r n o t , by a s k i n g h e r t o comply w i t h me t o h e l p me f i l l out t h i s assessment form...and I t o l d h e r t h a t i f she c o n t i n u e d d o i n g t h i s c r a z y number t h e n I c o u l d n ' t get t h e n e c e s s a r y d a t a I needed i n o r d e r t o f i n i s h t h e assessment and p o s s i b l y admit h e r . And s o , when she r e a l i z e d t h i s , t h e n she d e c i d e d t h a t she would j u s t c u t i t o u t , g i v e me t h e i n f o r m a t i o n I needed. Was v e r y q u i c k t o g i v e me h e r name, h e r a d d r e s s , urn, a l l you 50 know, p e o p l e she was c o n n e c t e d w i t h , s t u f f l i k e t h i s . She d i d t h i s w h i l e I was w r i t i n g . As soon as I s t o p p e d w r i t i n g she would s t a r t making up t h e s e words and sounds, and t h i n g s l i k e t h i s ; a l l t h e meantime s t r a p p e d i n h e r p o s e y , i n t h e w h e e l -c h a i r , f l a i l i n g h e r arms around. They had t h o u g h t t h a t she was p s y c h o t i c and e v e r y t h i n g , b u t I...my gut r e a c t i o n was t h i s woman had t o o much c o n t r o l , t o o much awareness f o r t h i s t o be a r e a l p s y c h o t i c e p i s o d e . . . . I had s e t up a s i t u a t i o n f o r h e r t h a t i n o r d e r t o a s s e s s h e r and get n e c e s s a r y i n f o r m a t i o n , i f she wasn't t r u l y p s y c h o t i c , i f t h i s was an a c t , she would s t o p i t i n o r d e r t o g i v e me t h i s d a t a . I f she had been r e a l l y p s y c h o t i c she wouldn't have, b u t she was a l e r t , and u n d e r s t o o d t h a t i n o r d e r t o be a d m i t t e d she had t o comply w i t h some o f my r e q u e s t s . So I knew by h e r c e a s i n g t h i s v e r b a l , oh, I c a n ' t even d e s c r i b e t h e n a t u r e o f t h e words. I t was made up words and sounds, n o t l i k e n e o l o g i s m s o r word s a l a d o f a t r u e p s y c h o t i c . The whole t h i n g t u r n e d out t h a t i n o r d e r t o get h e r s e l f i n t o h o s p i t a l , she had t o speak sense t o me. T h i s was a s i t u a t i o n I was s e t t i n g up f o r h e r t o see i f i t was r e a l o r n o t , because o b v i o u s l y you admit p e o p l e who c a n ' t speak s e n s e . But I wanted t o see how she would r e s p o n d . But t h e v e r y f a c t she c o u l d comply w i t h me, meant she had a g r e a t d e a l o f s e l f c o n t r o l and c o u l d t u r n t h i s on and o f f , w h i c h she i n f a c t d i d . A t t h e end when i t came down t o b r a s s t a c k s , i t was t h a t she needed a room f o r t h e n i g h t , because h e r boy-f r i e n d had thrown h e r o u t . She d i d n ' t have a p l a c e t o s t a y . She even asked me, f i n a l l y when she l e f t emergency, when I s a i d i t wasn't r e a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e , and she c o u l d go s t a y w i t h a f r i e n d . We d i r e c t e d h e r t o a f r i e n d ' s p l a c e , t h e n she s a i d , you know, ' c o u l d you g i v e me some money. I don't have any money'.... Out o f I don't know how many assessments I have done.... maybe out o f e v e r y e i g h t , I have a d m i t t e d one, so t h e r a t i o i s one t o e i g h t . Other p e o p l e we can send them back t o t h e i r f a m i l i e s , o r t o a f r i e n d . Send them t o some p l a c e f o r t h e n i g h t , t h e n h o p e f u l l y we hook them up w i t h p s y c h i a t r i s t s , t h e m e n t a l h e a l t h team, and o u t p a t i e n t ' s d e p a r t m e n t , u n l e s s t h e y a r e r e a l l y , you know, t h e y need h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n t h e n and t h e r e . Then we b r i n g them i n i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e n i g h t . . . . I t h i n k a l l o f t h e s e p e o p l e need h e l p i n one k i n d o r a n o t h e r . They a r e n o t managing v e r y w e l l , o r t h e y a r e u s i n g approaches w h i c h a r e u n f o r t u a n t e f o r them. But y a , I'm s o r t i n g i t o u t , who needs h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n . I'm s u r e t h e y ' l l need h e l p one way o r a n o t h e r , so we always t r y t o r e f e r them, and g e t them some p l a c e t h a t can get them a s s i s t a n c e . R e s e a r c h e r : So i t ' s n o t j u s t a m a t t e r o f who needs h e l p . I t ' s what k i n d o f h e l p . C l i n i c i a n : What k i n d o f h e l p i s a p p r o p r i a t e . R e s e a r c h e r : And i t may n o t be p s y c h i a t r i c h e l p . C l i n i c i a n : And i t may n o t be o r h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n . . . I t c o u l d be t h r o u g h 51 Human R e s o u r c e s , j o b , v o c a t i o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g , t h i n g s l i k e t h a t . B a s i c a l l y many t i m e s i t ' s work and a p l a c e t o l i v e , and n o t b e i n g so a l o n e , h a v i n g some k i n d o f c o m p a n i o n s h i p , so l i v i n g i n a house, h a l f w a y house o r so m e t h i n g l i k e t h a t . R e s e a r c h e r : So p e o p l e who come t o you, m a i n l y t h e y see t h e i r t r o u b l e s i n terms o f p s y c h i a t r i c t r o u b l e s . T h a t ' s why t h e y come t o you i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e . What you have t o d e c i d e i s whether o r n o t i t ' s p s y c h i a t r i c t r o u b l e s , o r i s i t problems i n l i v i n g --eve r y d a y t h i n g s t h a t t h e y don't need p s y c h i a t r y f o r . C l i n i c i a n : A l s o , a r e t h e s e p e o p l e who can b a s i c a l l y do i t t h e m s e l v e s , o r f e n d f o r t h e m s e l v e s , o r do t h e y need a s s i s t a n c e ? R e s e a r c h e r : So t h e n t h e r e a r e some p e o p l e who come t o y o u , who e s s e n t i a l l y can manage on t h e i r own b u t you have t o h e l p them, you have t o t e l l them t h e y can manage. C l i n i c i a n : Oh, we t e l l them. The s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f p s y c h i a t r i c t r e a t m e n t i s t h e a b i l i t y o f t h e c l i n i c i a n t o ' d i a g n o s e ' t r o u b l e s t h a t w a r r a n t , i n h i s o r h e r o p i n i o n , p s y c h i a t r i c h e l p . The p r o b l e m f o r p s y c h i a t r y i s t o d e c i d e whether t h e t r o u b l e s l a y p e r s o n s c o n s i d e r t o be w i t h i n t h e p u r v i e w o f p s y c h i a t r y a r e i n d e e d 'bona f i d e p s y c h i a t r i c t r o u b l e s ' t h a t w a r r a n t p s y c h i a t r i c h e l p . We c o u l d say t h a t t h e woman who t u r n e d up a t t h e emergency department i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e n i g h t had a sense o f d e s p e r a t i o n w h i c h t o h e r was s e r i o u s enough t o seek h e l p . She may have f e l t t h a t she had t o employ s t r a t e g i e s t o c o n v i n c e t h e t h e r a p i s t t h a t h e r t r o u b l e s were o f a magnitude w h i c h n e c e s -s i t a t e d t h e r a p y . From t h e c l i n i c i a n ' s p o i n t o f v i e w , t h e r e a r e d i f f e r e n t c a t e g o r i e s o f t r o u b l e -- some r e q u i r e p s y c h i a t r i c i n t e r v e n t i o n , o t h e r s do n o t . She had t o have some way o f s i f t i n g t h r o u g h t h e a m b i g u i t i e s o f t h e s i t u a t i o n t o d e c i d e i f t h e woman was i n d e e d ' p s y c h o t i c ' . How does a c l i n i c i a n i n t e r p r e t o b s e r v e d b e h a v i o r i n o r d e r t o d e c i d e who needs h e l p ? The d i a g n o s i s o f e m o t i o n a l t r o u b l e s cannot be v a l i d a t e d by e m p l o y i n g some measurement d e v i c e w h i c h w i l l i n f o r m t h e t h e r a p i s t about what i s r e a l l y wrong w i t h t h e p a t i e n t . F o r example, t h e measurement o f t h e 52 p a t i e n t ' s t e m p e r a t u r e i s n o t d a t a t h a t can be u t i l i z e d by a t h e r a p i s t t o h e l p d e t e r m i n e t h e n a t u r e o f t h e p a t i e n t ' s e m o t i o n a l t r o u b l e s . The p r a c -t i t i o n e r must have some o r g a n i z e d way o f g o i n g t h r o u g h a p a t i e n t ' s s t o r y i n o r d e r t o come up w i t h some r a t i o n a l s t a t e m e n t s about t h e p a t i e n t ' s t r o u b l e s . P s y c h i a t r y as a d i s c i p l i n e must have some way o f o r g a n i z i n g i t -s e l f , so t h a t p r a c t i t i o n e r s can manage t h e i r e v e r y d a y r o u t i n e s , and get on w i t h t h e i r j o b o f t r e a t i n g p e o p l e whom t h e y p e r c e i v e as n e e d i n g h e l p . They must a l s o communicate i n language a p p r o p r i a t e among t h e m s e l v e s , so t h a t s p e c i f i c c a t e g o r i e s o f i l l n e s s w i l l convey p a r t i c u l a r meanings t o p r a c t i t i o n e r s , and e l i m i n a t e t h e need f o r l o n g , v e r b a t i m a c c o u n t s o f p a t i e n t ' s s t o r i e s when d i s c u s s i n g 'what's wrong w i t h t h e p a t i e n t ' -- t h e y must make sense o f t h e p a t i e n t ' s s t o r y i n p s y c h i a t r i c a l l y r e l e v a n t language. I came t o see t h a t p r a c t i t i o n e r s were o n l y a b l e t o do t h i s by e m p l o y i n g t h e o r i e s p e c u l i a r t o t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l d i s c i p l i n e t h a t h e l p them t o d e c i d e what c o n s t i t u t e s t r o u b l e s t h a t w a r r a n t p s y c h i a t r i c h e l p , modal-i t i e s o f t h e r a p y a p p r o p r i a t e t o a g i v e n p s y c h i a t r i c i l l n e s s o r p r o b l e m and the l i k e . I came t o see p s y c h i a t r y as a t h e o r y governed a c t i v i t y . I n f a c t , t h e whole d i s c i p l i n e i s founded upon a p o w e r f u l t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t w h i c h i s n o t s u b j e c t t o s c i e n t i f i c p r o o f -- t h a t p e o p l e can change. I t i s by s u b s c r i b i n g t o such a t h e o r y t h a t t h e p r a c t i c e o f p s y c h i a t r y becomes v i a b l e i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e , because w i t h o u t such a t h e o r y t h e r e would be no r e a s o n f o r p s y c h i a t r y . But we need t o c o n s i d e r a n o t h e r q u e s t i o n -- do f o r m a l t h e o r i e s o f t h e m s e l v e s a c c o u n t f o r d e c i s i o n making? T h i s q u e s t i o n s h a l l be a d d r e s s e d l a t e r . I n t h e meantime, l e t us n o t e t h a t by e m p l o y i n g t h e o r i e s p r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e a b l e t o make sense o f phenomena e n c o u n t e r e d i n t h e i r d a i l y p r a c t i c e . L e t us examine t h i s n o t i o n i n more d e t a i l . 53 T h e o r i z i n g and Sensemaking The phenomenon o f . t h e o r i z i n g i s common t o a l l o f us i n our a t t e m p t s t o make sense o f e v e n t s . P r a c t i t i o n e r s , s o c i o l o g i s t s , and l a y p e o p l e d e v e l o p t h e o r i e s about t h e w o r l d . These t h e o r i e s a r e used i n r o u t i n e ways t o make sense o f e v e r y d a y l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s . In p s y c h i a t r i c p r a c t i c e , p r a c t i t i o n e r s must have d e v i c e s f o r c a t e g o r i z -i n g p e o p l e , so t h a t t h e y can d e c i d e who i s i n need o f t r e a t m e n t , and what k i n d o f t r e a t m e n t i s a p p r o p r i a t e . From t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f a n a l y s i s , i s s u e s around t h e p s y c h i a t r i c d i a g n o s i s a r e n o t seen as r e l a t e d t o t h e i r r e l i a b i l i t y (Beck, 1962), s t i g m a and the l i k e ( a l t h o u g h t h e s e must r e m a i n c o n c e r n s i n t h e n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e o f d a i l y l i f e ) . E s t a b l i s h i n g a d i a g n o s i s i s a p r a c t i c a l s o l u t i o n t o a p r a c t i c a l p r o b l e m . C o u l t e r p o i n t s t h i s o u t : D i a g n o s t i c work i n p s y c h i a t r y i s c o n d u c t e d f o r p r a c t i c a l 1 p u r p o s e s o f h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n and t r e a t m e n t i n l i n e w i t h t h e s t a n d a r d s o f p r a c t i c e i n any p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r e : d i a g n o s e s ar e b ases f o r i n f e r e n c e and a c t i o n n o t a t t e m p t s a t l i t e r a l measurement o f phenomena (1973: 8 ) . By i n v o k i n g p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i e s , p r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e a b l e t o d i f f e r e n -t i a t e between t h o s e t r o u b l e s w h i c h r e q u i r e l o n g t e r m p s y c h i a t r i c t h e r a p y and t h o s e w h i c h can be t r e a t e d by s h o r t t e r m t h e r a p y o r c r i s i s i n t e r v e n -t i o n . P e o p l e who might c o n s i d e r t h e m s e l v e s t o be g o i n g ' c r a z y ' might be t o l d by t h e p r a c t i t i o n e r t h a t t h e s e f e e l i n g s a r e n o r m a l under t h e c i r c u m -s t a n c e s , as p s y c h i a t r y has d e s c r i b e d some f e e l i n g s w h i c h n o r m a l l y o c c u r on g i v e n o c c a s i o n s . I n t h e f o r m u l a t i o n o f c r i s i s t h e o r y , f o r example, Lindemann d e s c r i b e s the. 'symptomatology o f normal g r i e f : The p i c t u r e shown by p e r s o n s i n a c u t e g r i e f i s r e m a r k a b l y u n i f o r m . Common t o a l l i s t h e f o l l o w i n g syndrome: s e n s a -t i o n s o f s o m a t i c d i s t r e s s o c c u r r i n g i n waves l a s t i n g f rom t w e n t y minutes t o an hour a t a t i m e , a f e e l i n g o f t i g h t n e s s i n t h e t h r o a t , c h o k i n g w i t h s h o r t n e s s o f b r e a t h , need f o r s i g h i n g , an empty f e e l i n g i n t h e abdomen, l a c k o f m u s c u l a r power, and an i n t e n s e s u b j e c t i v e d i s t r e s s d e s c r i b e d as t e n s i o n o r m e n t a l p a i n (1965: 8 ) . 54 Such a c r i s i s i s seen as l a s t i n g f o r a l i m i t e d t i m e -- " f o u r t o s i x weeks ....On t h i s b a s i s t h e l e n g t h o f t i m e f o r i n t e r v e n t i o n i s from f o u r t o s i x weeks, w i t h t h e median b e i n g f o u r weeks" ( A g u i l e r a e t a l . , 1970: 1 4 ) . The a u t h o r s , , o n t h e b a s i s o f " c r i s i s t h e o r y " , go on t o d e s c r i b e t h e s t e p s o f c r i s i s i n t e r v e n t i o n : There a r e c e r t a i n s p e c i f i c s t e p s i n v o l v e d i n t h e t e c h n i q u e o f c r i s i s i n t e r v e n t i o n . A l t h o u g h each cannot be p l a c e d i n a c l e a r l y d e f i n e d c a t e g o r y t y p i c a l i n t e r v e n t i o n would pass t h r o u g h t h e f o l l o w i n g sequence o f p h a s e s : 1. The f i r s t phase i s t h e assessment o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l and h i s p r o b l e m . T h i s r e q u i r e s t h e use o f a c t i v e f o c u s i n g t e c h n i q u e s on t h e p a r t o f t h e t h e r a p i s t t o o b t a i n an a c c u r a t e assessment o f t h e p r e c i p i t a t i n g event and t h e r e s u l t i n g c r i s i s t h a t b r o u g h t t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o seek p r o f e s s i o n a l h e l p . The t h e r a p i s t may have t o j u d g e whether t h e h e l p - s e e k i n g p e r s o n p r e s e n t s a h i g h s u i c i d a l o r h o m i c i d a l r i s k . I f t h e p a t i e n t i s t h o u g h t t o be a h i g h l e v e l o f danger t o h i m s e l f o r t o o t h e r s , r e f e r r a l i s made t o a p s y c h i a t r i s t f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n . I n t h e event t h a t h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n i s n o t deemed n e c e s s a r y , t h e i n t e r -v e n t i o n p r o c e e d s (1970: 16 ) . Lindemann, i n d i s c u s s i n g t h e p s y c h i a t r i c management o f p a t i e n t s i n c r i s i s a r g u e s , " H i s f e a r o f i n s a n i t y , h i s f e a r o f a c c e p t i n g t h e s u r p r i s i n g changes i n h i s f e e l i n g s , e s p e c i a l l y t h e o v e r f l o w o f h o s t i l i t y , have t o be worked t h r o u g h " (1965: 19). I t a k e i t t h a t Lindemann i s i n s t r u c t i n g us t o see f e a r o f i n s a n i t y as a normal o c c u r r e n c e under such c i r c u m s t a n c e s , and n o t t o see i t as meaning t h a t t h e p a t i e n t i s i n d e e d i n s a n e . P s y c h i a t r i c p r a c t i t i o n e r s t h e r e f o r e have t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between normal p e o p l e i n c r i s i s , and t h o s e whom t h e y c o n s i d e r t o have s e r i o u s p s y c h i a t r i c d i s t u r -bances . We can e x t e n d our q u e s t i o n i n g , and ask: a g a i n s t what ba c k g r o u n d do p r a c t i t i o n e r s make d e c i s i o n s about what c o n s t i t u t e s ' d i s t u r b a n c e s i n c o m m u n i c a t i o n ' , who needs h e l p , and what k i n d o f h e l p t h e p e r s o n needs? E a r l i e r q u o t a t i o n s i n t h i s c h a p t e r p r o v i d e some d i r e c t i o n f o r t a c k l i n g t h i s q u e s t i o n . We n o t e t h a t n e i t h e r Ruesch n o r B a n d l e r and G r i n d e r c o u l d 55 speak i n t e l l i g i b l y about ' d i s t u r b a n c e i n communication' o r ' i m p o v e r i s h e d models o f t h e w o r l d ' w i t h o u t making r e f e r e n c e t o ' s u c c e s s f u l c ommunication' and a ' r i c h r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d ' . I n o r d e r t o c o n s t r u c t t h e o r i e s about p e o p l e who need h e l p , r e f e r e n c e i s made t o p e o p l e who can manage t h e i r l i v e s w i t h o u t t h e h e l p o f a p s y c h i a t r i s t . I t seems t h a t we cannot speak i n t e l l i g i b l y about t r o u b l e s w i t h o u t i m p l i c i t o r e x p l i c i t r e f e r e n c e t o some o p p o s i t e c o n s t r u c t . A p o i n t r a i s e d i n C h a p t e r One, w h i c h i s o f s u f f i c i e n t • i m p o r t a n c e t o r e p e a t i s t h a t a n o m a l i e s cannot be d e s c r i b e d and e x p l a i n e d as a n o m a l i e s and would have no meaning i f t h e r e were no n o t i o n o f what i s normal o r u n u s u a l . Douglas emphasizes t h e p o l a r i z a t i o n o f c o n c e p t s i n o r d e r t o r e n d e r each s e n s i b l e and i n t e l l i g i b l e : D e v i a n c e and r e s p e c t a b i l i t y a r e n e c e s s a r i l y l i n k e d t o g e t h e r i n t h e s o c i a l meanings o f t h e terms as used by t h e members o f our s o c i e t y i n t h e i r e v e r y d a y l i v e s : when we o b s e r v e and a n a l y z e t h e m o r a l communications i n our e v e r y d a y l i v e s we f i n d t h a t t h e s o c i a l meanings o f e i t h e r d e v i a n c e ( i m m o r a l i t y ) o r r e s p e c t a b i l i t y ( m o r a l i t y ) can be a d e q u a t e l y u n d e r s t o o d o n l y i f r e f e r e n c e , whether i m p l i c i t o r e x p l i c i t , i s made t o t h e o t h e r , i t s o p p o s i t e . . . . F o r one t h i n g , i t seems l i k e l y t h a t P l a t o was r i g h t i n a r g u i n g t h a t t h e r e a r e c e r t a i n f u n d a m e n t a l c a t e g o r i e s o f e x i s t e n c e t h a t n e c e s s a r i l y i m p l y t h e i r o p p o s i t e s ; o r , r a t h e r , he would have been r i g h t a t l e a s t i n a r g u i n g t h a t t h i s i s a b a s i c p r e m i s e o f Western t h o u g h t . As he saw, f o r Western man l i f e n e c e s s a r i l y i m p l i e s d e a t h ; d e a t h n e c e s s a r i l y i m p l i e s l i f e ; and each i s w h o l l y meaning-f u l o n l y because o f t h e e x i s t e n c e o f i t s o p p o s i t e . I n t h e same way he argued t h a t t r u t h and f a l s e h o o d n e c e s s a r i l y i m p l y each o t h e r T 2 ] (1970: 3-4). T h i s o p p o s i t i o n a l d u a l i s m i s d e e p l y embedded i n p s y c h i a t r i c r e a s o n i n g about ' t r o u b l e d ' i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s . C o n s t r u c t i n g n o r m a l i t y i s a t t h e v e r y c o r e o f p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e ; i t i s some sense o f t h e r o u t i n e , t h e n o r m a l , t h e m o r a l c o u r s e o f a f f a i r s , w h i c h p e r m i t s us t o r e c o g n i z e d e v i a t i o n s , and hence problems w h i c h w a r r a n t t r e a t m e n t . Some p r a c t i t i o n e r s d i s c u s s t h e p a r t n o r m a l i t y p l a y s i n our p e r c e p t i o n s o f what i s 'abnormal'. Ruesch advances t h e f o l l o w i n g v i e w p o i n t : 56 The p s y c h o l o g i c a l , p e r s o n a l i t y , and p s y c h o . p a t h o l o g i c a l systems used by p s y c h i a t r i s t s a r e a l l based e s s e n t i a l l y upon t h e c o n c e p t o f d i s o r d e r e d f u n c t i o n o r p a t h o l o g y . But inasmuch as p s y c h i a t r i s t s t h e m s e l v e s do n o t p o s s e s s a s u f f i c i e n t l y c l e a r n o t i o n o f n o r m a l i t y , t h e q u e s t i o n may be r a i s e d whether th e c o ncept o f t h e norm i s n o t opposed and i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o the c o ncept o f i n d i v i d u a l a d j u s t m e n t and a d a p t a t i o n . Be t h a t as i t may, some o f t h e c o n f u s i o n e x i s t i n g i n p s y c h i a t r y t o d a y i s c l e a r l y r e l a t e d t o t h e i m p r o p e r use o f a r a t h e r n e b u l o u s con-c e p t o f n o r m a l i t y . I n o r d e r t o a v o i d t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s w h i c h a r i s e i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f p s y c h o p a t h o l o g i c a l e v e n t s , some p s y c h i a t r i s t s have i n t r o d u c e d t h e n o t i o n t h a t each i n d i v i d u a l i s u n i q u e , so t h a t t h e concept o f n o r m a l i t y or d e v i a t i o n cannot be a p p l i e d , and t h a t i n s t e a d t h e c o n c e p t o f i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y s h o u l d be used. I f t h i s were com-p l e t e l y t r u e , however, t r a i n i n g i n p s y c h i a t r y and p s y c h o t h e r a p y would be f u t i l e because one would have t o assume, each case b e i n g so d i f f e r e n t from t h e n e x t one, t h a t no g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s c o u l d be made. The f a c t t h a t p s y c h i a t r i s t s can be t r a i n e d , however, speaks t o t h e c o n t r a r y . T h e r e f o r e we must assume t h a t a l l t h e r a p i s t s o p e r a t e w i t h some concept o f n o r m a l i t y w h i c h a l l o w s them t o make g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s , even i f t h i s i s veh e m e n t l y d e n i e d . . . . The n a t u r e o f p a t h o l o g y i m p l i e s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a co n c e p t o f h e a l t h , and a l l m e d i c a l and p s y c h i a t r i c t h i n k i n g i s g e a r e d t o w a r d h e l p i n g t h e p a t i e n t a c h i e v e h e a l t h (1951: 70-71). In t a k i n g i n t o a c c o u n t what Ruesch s a y s , one c o u l d argue t h a t even i f t h e r a p i s t s use t h e concept o f ' i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y ' t h i s would make no sense w i t h o u t i n v o k i n g some n o t i o n o f n o r m a l , l i f e as u s u a l , and t h e l i k e . That i s , p e o p l e might o n l y be a b l e t o r e c o g n i z e t r o u b l e s i n t h e i r l i v e s i n c o n t r a s t w i t h some c o n c e p t i o n s o f l i f e w i t h o u t t h e s e t r o u b l e s . The p r e c e d i n g argument i s not meant t o s u g g e s t t h a t p r a c t i t i o n e r s s e t out d e l i b e r a t e l y t o d e l i n a t e n ormal from abnormal. R a t h e r , I main-t a i n t h a t p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i z i n g about t r o u b l e s , d i s t u r b a n c e and t h e l i k e , t a k e s p l a c e a g a i n s t b ackground c o n c e p t i o n s o f n o r m a l i t y -- n o r m a l i t y i s o p e r a t i n g e i t h e r i m p l i c i t l y o r e x p l i c i t l y i n our c o n s t r u c t i o n s o f 'problems', because how e l s e c o u l d 'problems' make sense? I n d e a l i n g w i t h c l i e n t s , p r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e always e m p l o y i n g some c o n c e p t i o n o f what i s normal i n t h a t p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n . The d i s c i p l i n e has c o n s t r u c t e d t h e o r i e s on normal g r i e v i n g , and normal changes t h r o u g h o u t t h e l i f e c y c l e 57 t o m e n t i o n a few examples. Even p r a c t i t i o n e r s who s p u r n t h e n o r m a l / abnormal dichotomy must s t i l l have some way o f making sense o f what t h e y see i n t h e r o u t i n e s o f t h e i r p r a c t i c e . They have t o d e c i d e who needs h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n and who does n o t , whether o r n o t a p a t i e n t i s i n s a n e enough t o be committed, and so on. These a r e no s i m p l e m a t t e r s , and r e -q u i r e t h a t t h e r a p i s t s have some way o f d e l i n e a t i n g t h e ambiguous. What i n v e s t i g a t o r s i n t h e f i e l d o f p s y c h i a t r y have t o come t o terms w i t h i s t h a t what i s normal i n the r e a l m o f s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n i s n o t s u s -c e p t i b l e t o s c i e n t i f i c d e f i n i t i o n and measurement. When c o n f r o n t e d w i t h f a m i l i e s o r i n d i v i d u a l s who are s e e k i n g h e l p t h e r e i s no measurement d e v i c e o r c h e c k l i s t w h i c h s t a n d s u n c h a l l e n g e d t h a t t h e r a p i s t s can c o n s u l t w h i c h would p e r m i t them t o d e c i d e once and f o r a l l t h a t a f a m i l y o r i n d i -v i d u a l i s i n d e e d n o r m a l , o r i n d e e d abnormal. The q u e s t i o n t h a t we must c o n s i d e r i s t h e back g r o u n d a g a i n s t w h i c h d e c i s i o n s about what i s normal o r what i s abnormal a r e made. To f u r t h e r t h i s d i s c u s s i o n l e t us examine some p e r s p e c t i v e s on 'normal' and ' d i s t u r b e d ' f a m i l y t h a t a r e a v a i l a b l e as a r e s o u r c e t o t h e d i s c i p l i n e o f p s y c h i a t r y . I have s e l e c t e d f o r e x a m i n a t i o n some t h e o r i e s w h i c h c o u l d be seen as i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c a c c o u n t s . A c c o r d i n g t o C i c o u r e l , i n v e s t i g a t o r s who p r e s e n t i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c d a t a ( i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e m i c r o -t h e o r i s t s ) " o f t e n b e l i e v e t h e b a s i c s o c i a l p r o c e s s e s o f e v e r y d a y l i f e c annot be q u a n t i f i e d d i r e c t l y w i t h o u t l o s i n g t h e e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s o f the i n t e r a c t i o n " (1976: 1 2 ) . A q u e s t i o n t o keep i n mind a t t h i s t i m e i s whether f o r m a l t h e o r i e s such as t h e s e o f t h e m s e l v e s account f o r e v e r y d a y p r a c t i c a l d e c i s i o n making i n p s y c h i a t r i c p r a c t i c e . The t h e o r i e s t h a t I have s e l e c t e d f o r d i s c u s s i o n a r e f o r the most p a r t t h e t h e o r i e s o f s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s , a l t h o u g h I have i n c l u d e d some t h e o r i e s by p r a c t i t i o n e r s . 58 P e r s p e c t i v e s on Normal and D i s t u r b e d F a m i l y Among t h o s e who s u b s c r i b e t o a communications t h e o r y o f m e n t a l i l l n e s s , t h e f a m i l y i s a p o w e r f u l schema t h r o u g h w h i c h e v e r y d a y a c t i v i t i e s ar e a s s e s s e d , e v a l u a t e d , and made sense o f . I n d i v i d u a l b e h a v i o r s a r e o f t e n u n d e r s t o o d i n terms o f 'what i s g o i n g on i n t h e f a m i l y ' . I t i s argued by t h e s e t h e o r i s t s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s t h a t t h e f a m i l y p l a y s a c r u c i a l r o l e i n t h e e t i o l o g y and maintenance o r c o r r e c t i o n o f e m o t i o n a l d i s o r d e r s , and t h e y a t t e m p t t o l o c a t e p a t t e r n s o f i n t e r a c t i o n i n t h o s e f a m i l i e s i d e n -t i f i e d as h a v i n g problems t o show how a c t i v i t i e s o f members c o n s i d e r e d t o be t r o u b l e d can be u n d e r s t o o d w i t h i n t h e f a m i l i e s i n wh i c h t h e y o c c u r . T a l k among f a m i l y members i s t a k e n t o be t h e k i n d o f t a l k w h i c h o c c u r s i n t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s and p s y c h i a t r i c t h e o r i e s emerge about p a t t e r n s o f communication which are ..seen as i n some way r e l a t e d t o p s y c h i a t r i c 3 t r o u b l e s . I m p l i c i t i n t h e s e t h e o r i e s i s t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e r e a r e o t h e r ways o f communicating t h a n t h e ways o f t h e s e t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s , and w h i c h p r e s u m a b l y would l e a d t o g r e a t e r harmony i n f a m i l y l i f e . I f t h e r e were no o t h e r c o n c e p t i o n o f l i f e , why would t h e s e i n t e r a c t i o n s be s e l e c t e d o ut t o be d i s c u s s e d ? O b v i o u s l y , i f t h e aim o f t h e r a p y i s t o change p a t t e r n s o f communicative b e h a v i o r , t h e n t h e t h e r a p i s t must have some i d e a s about what b e t t e r communication would be l i k e , and some way of r e c o g n i z i n g improvement. Take t h i s e x c e r p t from L a i n g ' s book, S a n i t y , Madness and t h e F a m i l y : MAYA: W e l l , why d i d I a t t a c k you? Perhaps I was l o o k i n g f o r s o m e t h i n g , something I l a c k e d - a f f e c t i o n , maybe i t was g r e e d f o r a f f e c t i o n . MOTHER: You wouldn't have any o f t h a t . You always t h i n k t h a t ' s soppy. MAYA: W e l l , when d i d you o f f e r i t t o me? MOTHER: W e l l , f o r i n s t a n c e , i f I was t o want t o k i s s you you'd say , 'Don't be soppy'. MAYA: But I've n e v e r known you l e t me k i s s you (1973:36). 59 T h i s i s L a i n g ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e i r c o n v e r s a t i o n : Maya made t h e p o i n t t h a t h e r p a r e n t s . d i d . n o t t h i n k o f h e r , o r 'see' h e r as 'a p e r s o n ' , 'as t h e p e r s o n t h a t I am'. She f e l t f r i g h t e n e d by t h i s l a c k o f r e c o g n i t i o n , and h i t back a t them as a means o f s e l f - d e f e n c e . But t h i s , o f c o u r s e , was q u i t e b e w i l d e r i n g t o h e r p a r e n t s , who c o u l d n o t g r a s p a t any t i m e any sense i n t h i s a c c u s a t i o n . Maya i n s i s t e d t h a t h e r p a r e n t s had no genuine a f f e c t i o n f o r h e r because t h e y d i d n o t know, and d i d n o t want t o know, what she f e l t , and a l s o t h a t she was n o t a l l o w e d t o e x p r e s s any spontaneous a f f e c t i o n f o r them, because t h i s was n o t p a r t o f ' f i t t i n g i n ' . ( 1 9 7 3 : 3 6 ) . "But I've n e v e r known you l e t me k i s s y o u , " i s i t a l i c i z e d by t h e a u t h o r . I n f a c t , t h a t i t i s s e l e c t e d out t o be d i s c u s s e d t e l l s us t h a t i t i s g i v e n p s y c h i a t r i c r e l e v a n c e and i s i l l u s t r a t i v e , from a p s y c h i a t r i c p o i n t o f v i e w , o f t h e t y p e s o f i n t e r a c t i o n s w h i c h are p r o b l e m a t i c . T h i s same p i e c e o f t a l k , were i t t o be v i e w e d o u t s i d e o f i t s p s y c h i a t r i c c o n t e x t , might be h e a r d by the l a y p e r s o n as ' f a m i l y s q u a b b l i n g ' t h a t i s n e i t h e r e x t r a o r d i n a r y n o r p a t h o l o g i c a l . Y e t w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t r o u b l e d f a m i l y i t can be h e a r d as what goes on i n t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s . T h e r a p i s t s employ some t h e o r y p e c u l i a r t o t h e i r d i s c i p l i n e t o make sense o f such t a l k as p s y c h i a t r i c a l l y r e l e v a n t m a t e r i a l . I n w o r k i n g w i t h p e r s o n s whom a t h e r a p i s t c o n s i d e r s t o 4 be h a v i n g t r o u b l e s , the p s y c h i a t r i c schema i s used t o i n t e r p r e t what i s o b s e r v e d ; t a l k among f a m i l y members i s t a k e n t o be p s y c h i a t r i c a l l y r e l e -v a n t and e v i d e n c e o f t h e i r t r o u b l e s . To f u r t h e r e l u c i d a t e t h i s p o i n t o f v i e w I i n t r o d u c e a t r a n s c r i p t from a t h e r a p y s e s s i o n . I n t h e l e f t hand column are t h e p a t i e n t ' s u t t e r a n c e s , and i n t h e r i g h t hand column, t h e p h y s i c i a n ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s : 'DR. A.:. B i l l , you heaved a s i g h T h e r a p i s t i n s t a n t l y f a s t e n s on as you s a t down t o n i g h t . a p i e c e o f n o n v e r b a l b e h a v i o r , t h e f a t h e r ' s s i g h . FATHER: J u s t p h y s i c a l , n o t m e n t a l . DR. A.: Who are you k i d d i n g ? T h e r a p i s t c h a l l e n g e s f a t h e r ' s e v a s i v e r e s p o n s e . FATHER: I'm k i d d i n g no one. •DR. A.: Hmmm... T h e r a p i s t r e g i s t e r s d i s b e l i e f , a f u r t h e r p r e s s u r e f o r a more ho n e s t r e s p o n s e . 60 DR. A. FATHER DR. A. FATHER DR.' A. o f h i s own emotions t o c o u n t e r an i n s i n c e r e d e n i a l . FATHER:' R e a l l y n o t R e a l l y p h y s i c a l . I'm t i r e d be-cause I p u t i n a f u l l day t o d a y . W e l l , I'm t i r e d e v e r y day, An example o f t h e r a p i s t ' s use and when I s i g h i t ' s n e v e r p u r e l y p h y s i c a l . R e a l l y ? What's th e m a t t e r ? N o t h i n g . R e a l l y ! W e l l , y o u r own son d oesn't T h e r a p i s t now e x p l o i t s son's b e l i e v e t h a t . g e s t u r e , a knowing g r i n , t o p e n e t r a t e f a t h e r ' s d e n i a l and evoke a deeper s h a r i n g o f f e e l i n g s . FATHER: W e l l , I mean, n o t h i n g . . . n o t h i n g c o u l d cause me t o s i g h e s p e c i a l l y t o d a y o r t o n i g h t . DR. A.: W e l l , maybe i t i s n ' t so s p e c i a l , but...how about i t , John? DR. A.: You w o u l d n ' t know? How come a l l o f a sudden you p u t on a p o k e r f a c e ? A moment ago you were g r i n -n i n g v e r y k n o w i n g l y . SON: I r e a l l y w o u l d n ' t know. T h e r a p i s t s t i r s son t o unmask f a t h e r . Now son wipes g r i n o f f h i s f a c e , and t u r n s e v a s i v e , l i k e f a t h e r . T h e r a p i s t c o u n t e r s by c h a l l e n g -i n g s o n , who t o o k p o t s h o t from s i d e l i n e s , and t h e n b a c k e d away. (Ackerman, 1966: 3-4). I n a t h e r a p y s e s s i o n such as t h e above, a s i g h i s n o t h e a r d as a s i g h o f f a t i g u e because t h e p a t i e n t had put i n a ' f u l l day t o d a y ' . R a t h e r , i t was t a k e n t o be r e l e v a n t t o t h e p s y c h o t h e r a p e u t i c e n c o u n t e r , and was r e a d as e v a s i v e n e s s , because i n s e e k i n g p s y c h o t h e r a p y one d e c l a r e s t h a t l i f e i s n o t as u s u a l , t h e r e a r e t r o u b l e s o r p roblems as t h e case may be. Once the p a t i e n t has been a s s e s s e d as h a v i n g t r o u b l e s which w a r r a n t p s y c h i a t r i c i n t e r v e n t i o n , what i s p r e s e n t e d t o t h e t h e r a p i s t i s p r e s u m a b l y a t t e n d e d t o and i n t e r p r e t e d as r e l a t e d t o t h e ' t r o u b l e s ' . I s t a t e d e a r l i e r t h a t B a t e s o n ' s t h e o r y o f the d o u b l e b i n d has had an enormous impact on p s y c h i a t r y . T h i s t h e o r y , f i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n 1956, i s t a k e n by many t h e r a p i s t s as a p o w e r f u l schema t h r o u g h w h i c h i n t e r a c t i o n s i n t h e f a m i l y o f a ' s c h i z o p h r e n i c ' c h i l d are adjudged and e v a l u a t e d . W h i l e 61 as p r a c t i t i o n e r s u b s c r i b i n g t o a communications t h e o r y o f m e n t a l i l l n e s s one might t a k e i t as a p l a u s i b l e a c count o f what a c t u a l l y happens i n a f a m i l y w i t h a c h i l d b e a r i n g t h e p s y c h i a t r i c l a b e l o f ' s c h i z o p h r e n i a ' , i n d o i n g s o c i o l o g y one p u t s i n t o q u e s t i o n the v e r y t h e o r i e s one s u b s c r i b e s t o as t h e r a p i s t . The d o u b l e b i n d , as c o n c e i v e d by B a t e s o n , i s seen as a s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h no m a t t e r what a p e r s o n does, he 'can't w i n ' . He h y p o t h e s i z e s t h a t a p e r s o n caught i n a d o u b l e b i n d may d e v e l o p s c h i z o -p h r e n i c symptoms (1972: 201). B a t e s o n grounds h i s t h e o r y o f t h e d o u b l e b i n d i n R u s s e l l ' s t h e o r y o f L o g i c a l Types, and a r g u e s : The c e n t r a l t h e s i s o f t h i s t h e o r y i s t h a t t h e r e i s a d i s c o n -t i n u i t y between a c l a s s and i t s members. The c l a s s cannot be a member o f i t s e l f n o r can one o f t h e members be_ t h e c l a s s , s i n c e t h e term used f o r t h e c l a s s i s o f a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l o f  a b s t r a c t i o n - a d i f f e r e n t L o g i c a l Type - from terms used f o r members. A l t h o u g h i n f o r m a l l o g i c t h e r e i s an attempt t o main-t a i n t h i s d i s c o n t i n u i t y between a c l a s s and i t s members, we argue t h a t i n t h e p s y c h o l o g y o f r e a l communications t h i s d i s -c o n t i n u i t y i s c o n t i n u a l l y and i n e v i t a b l y b r e a c h e d , and t h a t a p r i o r i we must e x p e c t a p a t h o l o g y t o o c c u r i n t h e human o r g a n i s m when c e r t a i n f o r m a l p a t t e r n s o f t h e b r e a c h i n g o c c u r i n t h e communication between mother and c h i l d (1972: 202-203). W i t h o u t p r e s e n t i n g e m p i r i c a l d a t a t o s u p p o r t h i s c l a i m , he i n t r o d u c e s h i s r e a d e r s t o what he c o n s i d e r s t o be t h e n e c e s s a r y i n g r e d i e n t s o f t h e d o u b l e b i n d s i t u a t i o n : The t h e o r e t i c a l p o s s i b i l i t y o f d o u b l e b i n d s i t u a t i o n s s t i m u l a t e d us t o l o o k f o r s u c h communication sequences i n t h e s c h i z o p h r e n i c p a t i e n t and i n h i s f a m i l y s i t u a t i o n . Toward t h i s end we have s t u d i e d t h e w r i t t e n and v e r b a l r e p o r t s o f p s y c h o t h e r a p i s t s who have t r e a t e d such p a t i e n t s i n t e n s i v e l y ; we have s t u d i e d t a p e r e c o r d i n g s o f p s y c h o t h e r a p e u t i c i n t e r -v i e w s , b o t h o f our own p a t i e n t s and o t h e r s (1972: 213). B a t e s o n i n f o r m s us t h a t he d e v e l o p e d a t h e o r y o f t h e d o u b l e b i n d , and used t h i s as an i n t e r p r e t i v e schema by w h i c h t o make sense o f communication p a t t e r n s i n t h e f a m i l i e s o f s c h i z o p h r e n i c p a t i e n t s . Bateson's approach t o t h e s t u d y o f t h e d o u b l e b i n d r e f l e c t s t h e p r a c t i c e i n t h e dominant s c i e n t i f i c community and i n t h e p r o f e s s i o n s . I t i s a commonly h e l d 62 b e l i e f t h a t one must know t h e o r i e s o f b e h a v i o r so t h a t one w i l l be a b l e t o i n t e r p r e t what i s o b s e r v e d . Y e t , i n t h e examples used t o i l l u s t r a t e the d o u b l e b i n d s i t u a t i o n , one c o u l d j u s t i f i a b l y argue t h a t B a t e s o n g i v e s us i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c a c c o u n t s o f what i s g o i n g on. .Here i s how B a t e s o n a r r i v e s a t h i s c o n c l u s i o n s : I l l u s t r a t i o n s f rom C l i n i c a l D a t a An a n a l y s i s o f an i n c i d e n t o c c u r r i n g between a s c h i z o -p h r e n i c p a t i e n t and h i s mother i l l u s t r a t e s t h e d o u b l e b i n d s i t u a t i o n . A young man who had f a i r l y w e l l r e c o v e r e d from an a c u t e s c h i z o p h r e n i c e p i s o d e was v i s i t e d i n t h e h o s p i t a l by h i s mother. He was g l a d t o see h e r and i m p u l s i v e l y p u t h i s arm around h e r s h o u l d e r s , whereupon she s t i f f e n e d . He w i t h d r e w h i s arm and she a s k e d , "Don't you l o v e me any more?" He t h e n b l u s h e d , and she s a i d , "Dear, you must n o t be so e a s i l y em-b a r r a s s e d and a f r a i d o f y o u r f e e l i n g s . " The p a t i e n t was a b l e t o s t a y w i t h h e r o n l y a few m i n u t e s more and f o l l o w i n g h e r d e p a r t u r e he a s s a u l t e d an a i d e and was put i n t h e t u b s . O b v i o u s l y , t h i s r e s u l t c o u l d have been a v o i d e d i f t h e young man had been a b l e t o s a y , "Mother, i t i s o b v i o u s t h a t you become u n c o m f o r t a b l e when I p u t my arm around yo u , and t h a t you have d i f f i c u l t y a c c e p t i n g a g e s t u r e o f a f f e c t i o n from me." However, t h e s c h i z o p h r e n i c p a t i e n t d o e s n ' t have t h i s p o s s i -b i l i t y open t o him. H i s i n t e n s e dependency and t r a i n i n g p r e -v e n t s him from commenting upon h i s mother's communicative b e h a v i o r , .though she comments on h i s and f o r c e s him t o a c c e p t and t o a t t e m p t t o d e a l w i t h t h e c o m p l i c a t e d s e q u e n c e ^ ] (1972: 2 1 7 ) . I t might n o t be as o b v i o u s t o t h e r e a d e r as i t i s t o B a t e s o n , t h a t t h e son's a s s a u l t on t h e a i d e was because o f t h e mother's r e s p o n s e . One might not see t h i s as a d o u b l e b i n d w i t h o u t B a t e s o n ' s i n s t r u c t i o n s t o see i t as s u c h , but might l o o k f o r a l t e r n a t e e x p l a n a t i o n s . A l t h o u g h one might a c c e p t B a t e s o n ' s c o n c l u s i o n s , i t i s n o t i n e v i t a b l e t h a t we a r r i v e a t t h e same c o n c l u s i o n s . To u n d e r s c o r e t h e argument p r e s e n t e d h e r e , I have s e l e c t e d f o r d i s -c u s s i o n t h r e e t o p i c s t h a t i n v e s t i g a t o r s i n the f i e l d o f p s y c h i a t r y have t h e o r i z e d about: ' i n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y ' , 'the remote f a t h e r ' , and 'humor i n f a m i l y l i f e ' . T h i s l i s t i s n o t e x h a u s t i v e , and my s e l e c t i o n o f t h e s e t o p i c s s h o u l d not be t a k e n as i n d i c a t i n g t h a t t h e y a r e seen by me 63 as more i m p o r t a n t t h a n o t h e r t h e o r i e s . R a t h e r , t h e y . a r e o n l y examples o f t h e o r i e s w h i c h p e r m i t me t o examine the i s s u e under d i s c u s s i o n . By u s i n g d a t a o b t a i n e d from f a m i l i e s , I show t h a t we can a r r i v e at o t h e r i n t e r p r e -t a t i o n s o f f a m i l y l i f e i n a t t e n d i n g t o s i t u a t i o n s w h i c h i n v e s t i g a t o r s have t o l d us have p s y c h i a t r i c r e l e v a n c e . I p r o v i d e t h e r e a d e r w i t h a c t u a l v e r b a t i m a c c o u n t s o f f a m i l y i n t e r a c t i o n s p r o d u c e d i n t h e c o n t e x t o f o r d i n a r y f a m i l y l i f e . Readers w i l l t h e r e f o r e have a c c e s s t o t h e d a t a , i n o r d e r t o see f o r t h e m s e l v e s how I a r r i v e a t my i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . I s t a r t by e x a m i n i n g t h e c l a i m s o f some t h e o r i s t s about adequate and i n a d e q u a t e f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g . I n t e r p r e t i n g I n t e r n a l R o l e C o n s i s t e n c y The G l a s s e r s (1970) a t t e m p t t o d e f i n e what adequate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g i s , as c o n t r a s t e d w i t h d i s t u r b e d f u n c t i o n i n g . I have e l e c t e d t o d i s c u s s t h e i r c l a i m s about ' i n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y ' as t h i s s e r v e s t o h e l p us t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s o f f a m i l i e s . I n t h e i r f o r m u l a -t i o n o f adequate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g t h e G l a s s e r s s t a t e : O f t e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p s y c h i a t r i c i l l n e s s i s f a m i l y d i s o r g a n -i z a t i o n . T h i s m a l a d a p t a t i o n o f t h e group must be r e l a t e d t o p r e v i o u s methods o f o r g a n i z a t i o n , which i n a t l e a s t some r e s p e c t s were s a t i s f a c t o r y , and w h i c h p r o v i d e l e a d s f o r s u c c e s s -f u l o r g a n i z a t i o n i n t h e f u t u r e . Thus, f a m i l y breakdown cannot be u n d e r s t o o d and d e a l t w i t h w i t h o u t a c o n c u r r e n t u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f adequate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g (1970: 290) . The a u t h o r s p r o c e e d t o d e f i n e an a d e q u a t e l y f u n c t i o n i n g f a m i l y "as one engaged i n t h e c r e a t i o n and p r e s e r v a t i o n o f t h e e m o t i o n a l w e l l - b e i n g o f i t s members" (1970: 291). They l i s t f i v e c r i t e r i a f o r adequate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g : 1. I n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y among f a m i l y members. 2. C o n s i s t e n c y o f f a m i l y r o l e s and norms and a c t u a l r o l e p e r f o r m a n c e . 3. C o m p a t i b i l i t y o f f a m i l y r o l e s and norms w i t h community norms. 64 4. M e e t i n g t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l needs o f f a m i l y members. 5. The a b i l i t y o f t h e f a m i l y group t o r e s p o n d t o change. (1970: 2 9 1 ) . I t would seem t h a t h a v i n g c o n s t r u c t e d t h e i r t h e o r y , t h e a u t h o r s t h e n used i t t o i n t e r p r e t f a m i l y l i f e . However, t h e s e a re n o t s e l f a n n o u n c i n g c a t e g o r i e s , b u t t h e y r e q u i r e us t o make i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f b e h a v i o r . The p r o b l e m f o r us i s how t o d e c i d e t h a t what we are s e e i n g i s i n d e e d ' i n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y ' o r any o f t h e o t h e r f e a t u r e s i s o l a t e d by them. G r a n t e d , t h e G l a s s e r s have g i v e n us some d i r e c t i o n i n g o i n g about t h e b u s i n e s s o f f i n d i n g i n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y i n f a m i l i e s . They c l a i m : I n o r d e r t o behave a p p r o p r i a t e l y i n a way w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e s t o t h e s o l u t i o n o f f a m i l y p r o b l e m s , . e a c h member must under-s t a n d what i s e x p e c t e d o f h i m s e l f and o t h e r s . Each i n d i v i d u a l w i t h i n t h e f a m i l y must see h i m s e l f i n a way w h i c h i s c o n s i s -t e n t w i t h t h e way o t h e r s see him. I n g e n e r a l , t h i s was t r u e f o r t h e members o f each o f t h e s t u d y f a m i l i e s p r i o r t o t h e p s y c h i a t r i c i l l n e s s o f t h e p a t i e n t and t h e b e g i n n i n g o f f a m i l y d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n (1970: 2 9 1 ) . To make t h e i r : p o i n t , t h e y p r o v i d e us w i t h some a c c o u n t s w h i c h demon-s t r a t e , from t h e i r p e r s p e c t i v e , i n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y : The 0';s were a c o u p l e i n t h e i r e a r l y f o r t i e s . Mr. O.was a p r o m i n e n t m i n i s t e r i n t h e community. Mr. 0 was seen by him-s e l f , h i s w i f e , and t w e l v e y e a r o l d d a u g h t e r as p r i m a r i l y t h e f a m i l y p r o v i d e r . I n a d d i t i o n , h i s o c c u p a t i o n as m i n i s t e r b r o u g h t t o t h e f a m i l y a c e r t a i n s t a t u s i n t h e community o f wh i c h h i s w i f e and c h i l d were p r o u d . As l o n g as he was a b l e t o main-t a i n t h i s r o l e i n h i s own eyes and i n t h e eyes o f h i s f a m i l y , t h e t h r e a t o f f a m i l y d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n was m i n i m i z e d . S i m i l a r l y , Mrs. 0 saw h e r s e l f as t h e p e r s o n who c o n t r o l l e d t h e i n t e r n a l a s p e c t s o f f a m i l y l i f e i n a way w h i c h e x p e d i t e d t h e pe r f o r m a n c e o f h e r husband's r o l e and l e d t o t h e h e a l t h y development o f h e r c h i l d . I n t h i s Mr. 0 a g r e e d . These c o n s i s t e n t e x p e c t a t i o n s m i n i m i z e d c o n f l i c t and c o n t r i b u t e d t o smooth f a m i l y f u n c t i o n -i n g (1970; 291-292) . When we examine t h i s e x c e r p t , do we i n e v i t a b l y r e c o g n i z e what t h e a u t h o r s t e l l us i s i n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y , and do we t a k e what we see as adequate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g ? I s i t p o s s i b l e t o o f f e r o t h e r e x p l a n a -t i o n s ? Perhaps from t o d a y ' s p o i n t o f view we might see t h i s f a m i l y as out 65 o f s t e p w i t h what we have come t o know as contemporary f a m i l y l i f e . We c o u l d even go as f a r as s a y i n g t h a t we a r e n o t s u r p r i s e d t h e y needed p s y c h i a t r i c h e l p . A l t h o u g h t h e a u t h o r s a r e i n s t r u c t i n g us t o see t h i s f a m i l y as f u n c t i o n i n g a d e q u a t e l y , from a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e one may q u e s t i o n i f t h e w i f e was as c o n t e n t t o e x p e d i t e t h e p e r f o r m a n c e o f h e r husband's r o l e as t h e G l a s s e r s make h e r out t o be. Of c o u r s e , we have no way o f knowing how t h e w i f e p e r c e i v e d what was g o i n g on. However, I am s u g g e s t i n g t h a t we need n o t t a k e t h e G l a s s e r ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s as f i n a l ; t h e r e are o t h e r ways o f i n t e r p r e t i n g t h e d a t a . A l t h o u g h we might a c c e p t what t h e G l a s s e r s t e l l u s , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o a r r i v e a t d i f f e r e n t c o n c l u -s i o n s t h a n them. Even i f we are w i l l i n g t o a c c e p t i t as f a c t t h a t i n t e r n a l r o l e con-s i s t e n c y i s a c r i t e r i o n o f an a d e q u a t e l y f u n c t i o n i n g f a m i l y , we need t o c o n s i d e r how we would come t o r e c o g n i z e t h i s i n e v e r y d a y f a m i l y l i f e . To a d d r e s s t h i s i s s u e , I p r e s e n t d a t a o b t a i n e d from one o f t h e f a m i l i e s i n my s t u d y t o see how we can make sense o f t h e phenomenon under d i s c u s s i o n . 2.2 W i f e : I f y o u ' r e g o i n g t o have k i d s t h e y s h o u l d be i n v o l v e d i n e v e r y -t h i n g t h a t you do, r e a l l y . Husband: But everybody has got t o have t i m e o f t h e i r own as w e l l . W i f e : Oh, I know. I know t h a t , b u t urn. We have f r i e n d s t h a t do t h e same t h i n g you know. They pack them up and t a k e them h e r e and t h e r e , and um/ Husband: We t e n d t o l i k e t h a t much b e t t e r . W i f e : I t h i n k b e f o r e you have c h i l d r e n , we d i d n ' t r e a l i z e how much d i f f e r e n t our l i f e would r e a l l y be. R e s e a r c h e r : Hm. W i f e : You know we p l a n n e d on h a v i n g c h i l d r e n and we were l o o k i n g f o r w a r d t o i t , b u t u n t i l you a c t u a l l y have them, I don't t h i n k a l o t o f p e o p l e r e a l i z e / 66 Husband: How much work/ Wife: Ya. I t does t a k e a l o t o f work, and i t ' s a g r e a t r e s p o n s i -b i l i t y , so um,-you know, we c e r t a i n l y have l e a r n e d a l o t i n th e l a s t y e a r . R e s e a r c h e r : Hm. W i f e : Husband: W i f e : Husband: W i f e : Husband: W i f e : and even you know, t h e y even t a k e a l o t o f work, o r maybe even i t ' s more work t o pack them up and t a k e them p l a c e s . When t h e y are young i t p r o b a b l y i s , b u t I t h i n k i t d e f i n i t e l y pays o f f . And a l s o you get a l i t t l e b i t o f -- i f a l l you do i s s t a y a t home, and w a i t f o r them t o get up, and w a i t f o r them t o be f e d , f e e d them and w a i t t o change them/ I t h i n k / How b o r i n g can t h i n g s be. Ya. You know, you might as w e l l get out and do som e t h i n g . And some, i t ' s t o o bad you know. Because a l o t o f g i r l s . I have a c a r t o o , when Don i s a t work I can go and do t h i n g s . And ah, I f e e l b a d l y f o r some women who a r e a t home a l l day, Mondays t h r o u g h F r i d a y s . 2.3 [The same f a m i l y , on a l a t e r v i s i t ] W i f e : I f e e l k i n d o f g u i l t y l e a v i n g him w i t h t h e baby s i t t e r . I don't know why, but i t ' s r e a l l y k i n d a / Husband: Oh w e l l , no 1/ W i f e : I t ' s n o t t h a t I don't t r u s t h e r o r t h i n k t h a t he i s g e t t i n g good c a r e , b u t I j u s t f e e l / Husband: I k i n d a t h i n k i t s because we've d e c i d e d t o t r y you know, f o r you t o t r y and s t a y at home, l i k e we'd l i k e h e r j u s t t o s t a y a t home, but i t doesn't seem t o be. There's no way I'd l e t h e r work f u l l t i m e , b u t i t d o e s n ' t seem t o / W i f e : [ t o baby] What d i d you do? Husband: Work out j u s t on one s a l a r y . So she has t o p r e t t y w e l l work p a r t - t i m e , and i t ' s j u s t I t h i n k , i t ' s a b i t o f a d i s a p p o i n t -ment from what we e x p e c t e d would happen t o what r e a l l y i s h a p p e n i n g . You know, f i n a n c i a l l y . 67 W i f e : I know t h e r e ' s a l o t o f p e o p l e t h a t . l e a v e t h e i r k i d s w i t h s i t t e r s f i v e days a week, b u t urn, I don't know. I , I t h i n k I ' d , I'd j u s t urn, urn, and he p r o b a b l y e n j o y s i t because t h i s g i r l I've been l e a v i n g him w i t h , she's got a l i t t l e g i r l and I'm s u r e t h a t he t h i n k s , he's n e v e r been u p s e t when I've l e f t him. I n f a c t when I go p i c k him up/ So urn, he's g e t t i n g exposure t o o t h e r k i d s w h i c h i s good and she t a k e s him out f o r a wa l k . She seems t o t r e a t him j u s t f i n e . I j u s t f e e l g u i l t y . I t ' s s i l l y f o r me t o f e e l l i k e t h a t , however, w e ' l l see. R e s e a r c h e r : You f e e l k i n d o f g u i l t y l e a v i n g him? Wife: Husband: W i f e : I t ' s j u s t because I f i g u r e t h a t , you know, I mean he i s our c h i l d , and we s h o u l d t a k e c a r e o f him o r s o m e t h i n g . I don't know. He seems t o a d j u s t j u s t f i n e t o g o i n g t o a baby s i t t e r . A t l e a s t t h a t ' s one good t h i n g . I f he was r e a l l y u p s e t t h e r e i s no way I would e v e r l e a v e him because I would f e e l r e a l l y bad, b u t he doesn'.t seem t o mind. Even when I go t o p i c k him up he seems [ l a u g h t e r ] 'so what, she's h e r e ? ' [ l a u g h t e r ] ' I d i d n ' t r e a l i z e you'd gone'. [ l a u g h e r ] 'I d i d n ' t r e a l i z e you'd been gone'. Oh d e a r ! 2.4 [same f a m i l y l a t e r i n t h e v i s i t ] W i f e : I wouldn't want t o work f u l l t i m e . Then I t h i n k y o u ' r e a t a p o i n t where you c a n ' t r e a l l y e n j o y y o u r c h i l d because you don't have t h e t i m e . Husband: Somebody e l s e i s b r i n g i n g him up. W i f e : Ya. But I t h i n k you r e a l l y would m i s s , u n t i l t h e y get i n t o s c h o o l , I t h i n k you'd m i s s a l o t i f you had t o work f u l l t i m e . The day when he t a k e s h i s f i r s t s t e p , and h i s t o o t h pops t h r o u g h and a l l t h e s e k i n d o f t h i n g s you know. I don't t h i n k you r e a l l y would see t h o s e t h i n g s i f you a r e away a l l day. I f we agree t h a t i n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y i s one c r i t e r i o n o f ade-quate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g , how would we make sense o f t h e s e d a t a ? From what t h e s e p a r e n t s s a i d , b o t h had e x p e c t e d t h e w i f e t o be a f u l l t i m e mother and homemaker, b u t t h i s was n o t f i n a n c i a l l y p o s s i b l e . A r e we t o t a k e i t t h a t t h e husband was n o t seen by h i m s e l f o r by h i s w i f e as p r i -m a r i l y t h e f a m i l y p r o v i d e r ? And i f s o , are we t h e r e f o r e t o see t h e f a m i l y 68 as n o t f u n c t i o n i n g a d e q u a t e l y ? The husband was e x p r e s s i n g d i s a p p o i n t m e n t : " i t ' s a b i t o f a d i s a p p o i n t m e n t from what we e x p e c t e d would happen t o what r e a l l y i s h a p p e n i n g . You know, f i n a n c i a l l y . " I t i s p o s s i b l e f o r us t o s t a r t p u t t i n g i n t o q u e s t i o n t h e adequacy w i t h w h i c h t h e f a m i l y i s f u n c t i o n i n g , and i f we are i n t e n t on l o c a t i n g 'problems' we might w e l l see t h i s as some k i n d o f f a m i l y p r o b l e m -- a f t e r a l l , t h e w i f e i s t e l l i n g us t h a t she f e e l s g u i l t y . But i s i t p o s s i b l e t o see t h e d a t a i n o t h e r ways? Is i t p o s s i b l e t o h e a r t h i s t a l k as a r e a s o n -a b l e account o f what i t i s l i k e t o i n c o r p o r a t e a c h i l d i n t o one's l i f e ? The p a r e n t s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e y ought t o s u p e r v i s e t h e c h i l d ' s d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s , because t h e r e a r e . e v e n t s o c c u r r i n g i n t h e c h i l d ' s l i f e w h i c h t h e y , as p a r e n t s , have th e r i g h t t o be t h e f i r s t t o o b s e r v e . They a l s o saw t h e m s e l v e s as h a v i n g c e r t a i n o b l i g a t i o n s , w h i c h , i f n o t met, l e d t o f e e l i n g s o f g u i l t . Y e t , t h e r e were p r a c t i c a l economic m a t t e r s w h i c h had t o be d e a l t w i t h . A l t h o u g h t h e y were r e l u c t a n t t o l e a v e t h e c h i l d w i t h a b a b y s i t t e r , the demands o f the s i t u a t i o n were such t h a t t h e y had no c h o i c e . T h i s seems t o us t o be f a m i l i a r -- i t i s what we have come t o know as o r d i n a r y f a m i l y l i f e . A l t h o u g h we can h e a r i t as a r e a s o n a b l e account o f f a m i l y l i f e , i f we were asked t o h e a r i t as an a ccount o f t r o u b l e s , no doubt we c o u l d h e a r i t as s u c h , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f i t had o c c u r r e d w i t h i n the c o n t e x t o f t h e r a p y . So i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r one t o argue w i t h any degree o f c e r t a i n t y t h a t what one i s h e a r i n g i s i n t e r n a l r o l e c o n s i s t e n c y , o r t h e absence o f i t , w h i c h , from t h e G l a s s e r ' s p e r -s p e c t i v e c o u l d p o i n t t o f a m i l y d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n . F u r t h e r m o r e , even i f we h e a r t h i s f a m i l y ' s a c c o u n t as not b e i n g con-s i s t e n t w i t h r o l e s , we c o u l d s t i l l say t h a t one o f t h e c r i t e r i a p r o v i d e d us by t h e G l a s s e r s t o l o c a t e ' a d e q u a t e l y f u n c t i o n i n g f a m i l i e s ' would be 69 met by t h i s f a m i l y . That i s , we c o u l d say t h a t t h i s f a m i l y showed t h e a b i l i t y t o r e s p o n d t o change. The G l a s s e r s i n f o r m us t h a t a f a m i l y must have a l l f i v e c r i t e r i a i n o r d e r t o be seen as an a d e q u a t e l y f u n c t i o n i n g f a m i l y . I n i n t r o d u c i n g t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n on "The A b i l i t y o f t h e F a m i l y t o Respond t o Change," t h e y argue: The f o u r c r i t e r i a j u s t d e s c r i b e d a r e n e c e s s a r y but not s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n s f o r adequate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g . Suc-c e s s f u l h a n d l i n g o f t h e s e system problems e n a b l e s a f a m i l y t o a c h i e v e some s t a b i l i t y . Such f a m i l i e s can be c o n s i d e r e d t o be i n a s t a t e o f s t a t i c e q u i l i b r i u m . However, a l l f a m i l i e s are r e q u i r e d t o r e s p o n d t o demands f o r change, b r o u g h t about by b o t h p r e s s u r e s w i t h i n t h e system i t s e l f as w e l l as p r e s s u r e s from e x t e r n a l e n v i r o n m e n t . To m a i n t a i n i t s e l f t h e f a m i l y must be i n a s t a t e o f dynamic e q u i l i b r i u m , r e s p o n d i n g a p p r o p r i a t e l y t o t h e s e e v e r p r e s e n t demands f o r change. F a m i l i e s must f i n d a means by w h i c h p a t t e r n s o f e x p e c t a t i o n s and b e h a v i o r can be a l t e r e d t o meet newly emerging needs and t h e p roblems t h e y c r e a t e . The a b i l i t y o f system members t o meet t h i s c h a l l e n g e i s sometimes r e f e r r e d t o as r o l e f l e x i b i l i t y (1970: 296) . From th e t r a n s c r i p t m a t e r i a l s p r e s e n t e d e a r l i e r i t would seem t h a t w h i l e i t may be p o s s i b l e t o say t h a t t h i s f a m i l y was n o t b e i n g c o n s i s t e n t w i t h r o l e s , we c o u l d see them as b e i n g a b l e t o r e s p o n d t o change. So w h i l e t h e G l a s s e r s are p r e s e n t i n g us w i t h a t h e o r y w h i c h would have us see t h e i r c r i t e r i a f o r adequate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g one a t a t i m e , we see t h a t t h e same b e h a v i o r w h i c h might be r e g a r d e d as n o t m e e t i n g one c r i t e r i o n , would meet a n o t h e r c r i t e r i o n w h i c h t h e y have o u t l i n e d . I n r a i s i n g t h e s e q u e s t i o n s , I do n o t i n t e n d t o be q u e r u l o u s , n o r am I t r y i n g t o show t h a t t h e o r i e s are i n a d e q u a t e . R a t h e r , I r a i s e t h e q u e s t i o n s , how do we come t o a s c r i b e f a m i l i e s t o c a t e g o r i e s ' t r o u b l e d ' , 'normal' o r 'adequate'? How do we a r r i v e a t our d e c i s i o n s about ' f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g ' ? I t i s t h e s e m a t t e r s w h i c h I i n t e n d us t o c o n s i d e r h e r e . H a v i n g l o o k e d a t what th e G l a s s e r s have t o s a y about adequate and i n -adequate f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g I s h a l l p r o c e e d w i t h t h i s d i s c u s s i o n by l o o k -i n g a t a n o t h e r t o p i c .which has been t a k e n t o be r e l e v a n t t o our under-70 s t a n d i n g o f ' f a m i l i e s w i t h t r o u b l e s ' . I have s e l e c t e d Henry's (1971) c l a i m s about t h e 'Remote F a t h e r ' f o r d i s c u s s i o n . C l a i m s about t h e Remote F a t h e r I n h i s book Pathways t o Madness Henry p r e s e n t s case s t u d i e s o f f i v e f a m i l i e s t h a t had a c h i l d w i t h an ' e m o t i o n a l ' i l l n e s s . He uses t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c method i n h i s s t u d y o f t h e s e f a m i l i e s . H i s " O b s e r v a t i o n s on t h e C h a r a c t e r o f a Remote F a t h e r " (1971: 299-304) i s an a ccount o f a f a m i l y who had a c h i l d d i a g n o s e d as a u t i s t i c . The c h i l d was t e n y e a r s o l d , and was ; i n an i n s t i t u t i o n at t h e t i m e t h a t Henry c o n d u c t e d h i s s t u d y . The f a m i l y a l s o had a s i x - y e a r - o l d d a u g h t e r . I n d e s c r i b i n g t h e f a m i l y he s t a t e s : Mrs. W i l s o n - who n e v e r s t u d i e d p s y c h o l o g y and who n e v e r a t t e n d e d c o l l e g e - has such f i n e i n s i g h t i n t o t h e causes o f p r i m a r y i n f a n t i l e a u t i s m t h a t I sometimes t h i n k I may have g o t t e n my own t h e o r y o f i t from h e r . Her d e s c r i p t i o n o f Donald's i s o -l a t i o n - o f h i s g e n e r a l " s t i m u l u s i m p o v e r i s h m e n t " - a l s o de-s c r i b e s my v i e w o f t h e cause o f t h i s d i s e a s e p e r f e c t l y . And because she b e l i e v e s i t , because she blames h e r s e l f , g u i l t i s a d e v i l r i d i n g on h e r back; she g e t s v e r y l i t t l e s l e e p , even w i t h t h e a i d o f p i l l s . . . . M e a n w h i l e h e r husband b r u s h e s a l l h e r e x p l a n -a t i o n s a s i d e , as he does h i s own g u i l t . He i s calm; she i s a l m o s t b e s i d e h e r s e l f . . . . N o t i c e t h a t t h e e n t i r e r e c i t a t i o n o f d i s a s t e r was by h i s w i f e ; h i s o n l y e n t r a n c e i n t o the drama was as a f e e b l e one-man c h o r u s , d e n y i n g h e r r e a l i t y . . . . As I t a l k w i t h the W i l s o n s a t our f i r s t m e e t i n g t h e p i c t u r e o f remoteness i s a l r e a d y b e g i n n i n g t o assume form; t h e p r i n c i -p a l l i n e s o f f o r c e are becoming d i s t i n c t . T h i s i s always t h e c a s e : t h e g e n e r a l o u t l i n e s appear d u r i n g t h e f i r s t h o u r s o f a v i s i t . Mr. W i l s o n i s a t t h e p e r i p h e r y o f t h e f a m i l y ' s e x i s -t e n c e .... I t ' s l i f e does n o t c l a i m him - he i s b a r e l y a v a i l a b l e (1971: 298-299) . I t i s from h i s i n i t i a l o b s e r v a t i o n s o f the W i l s o n f a m i l y and h i s t h e o r y o f a u t i s m t h a t Henry came t o see t h e husband as remote. H a v i n g come t o t h i s c o n c l u s i o n , Henry c o u l d t h e n i n t e r p r e t t h e f a t h e r ' s b e h a v i o r s as showing how a remote f a t h e r i n t e r a c t s w i t h h i s c h i l d . P r e s u m a b l y , i n f o r m i n g t h i s p i c t u r e o f t h e f a t h e r , Henry had i n mind some c o n t r a s t i n g 71 n o t i o n t h a t p e r m i t t e d him t o see t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e man as remote f a t h e r -i n g . I n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n t o h i s book he a r g u e s : The book b e g i n s an e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h e i n v a r i a n t forms o f a c t i v i t y u n d e r l y i n g s o c i a l a d a p t a t i o n . I c a l l them " i n v a r i a n t " because t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s and c o n d i t i o n s a r e f o u n d i n a l l human s o c i e t i e s , though t h e y t a k e d i f f e r e n t forms i n each. F o r example, i n i n t r o d u c i n g the W i l s o n c a s e , I examine t h e concept o f a v a i l -a b i l i t y , and a r g u i n g t h a t a v a i l a b i l i t y o f human b e i n g s t o one a n o t h e r - o f p a r e n t t o c h i l d , o f husband t o w i f e , o f c l a n t o c l a n - i s a n e c e s s i t y o f s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e , I s t u d y how u n a v a i l -a b i l i t y can c r e a t e p a t h o l o g y . Of c o u r s e , t h i s does not mean t h a t t h e o n l y p r o b l e m i n t h e W i l s o n h o u s e h o l d i s u n a v a i l a b i l i t y o r t h a t no o t h e r f a m i l y i n t h e book has such a p r o b l e m . I t s i m p l y means t h a t t h e W i l s o n f a m i l y p a r t i c u l a r l y i n v i t e s a d i s c u s s i o n o f i t (1971: x v i i i ) . Henry a t t e m p t s t o c o n s t r u c t t h e phenomenon o f u n a v a i l a b i l i t y i n t h i s a ccount o f f a m i l y i n t e r a c t i o n s : ( F i r s t Day.) Norma got up and g r e e t e d h e r daddy. I t seems t o me t h a t she j u s t s a i d , " H e l l o , Daddy." He d i d n ' t s n a t c h h e r up, throw h e r up i n t h e a i r , f o n d l e o r c a r e s s h e r . A f t e r d i n n e r we a l l went i n t o t h e l i v i n g room, and s h o r t l y a f t e r t h a t Norma was p u t t o bed. She went w i t h o u t t r o u b l e , though t h e r e was a l i t t l e b y - p l a y between h e r and h e r mother, Norma l y i n g on the f l o o r , l a u g h i n g v e r y h a r d , t r y i n g t o d e l a y g o i n g t o bed. Then h e r mother t o l d h e r t o go over and say good-n i g h t t o h e r f a t h e r , so she went o v e r t o him p l a y f u l l y and s q u a t t e d between h i s knees. He r a i s e d h e r o f f t h e f l o o r , t r y i n g , i n a k i n d l y way, t o get h e r t o go t o bed. I f e l t he was k e e p i n g  t h e k i d a t a d i s t a n c e [ i t a l i c s m i n e ] . A l t h o u g h he t o u s l e d h e r h a i r , I d i d n ' t have the i m p r e s s i o n o f a f a t h e r who e a s i l y f o n d l e s h i s d a u g h t e r . A t l a s t Norma went o f f t o bed i n g a l e s o f l a u g h t e r , h e r mother s m i l i n g i n d u l g e n t l y . (Second Day.) Norma had been w a t c h i n g TV and d e c i d e d t o s t o p . She t h e n s o r t o f threw h e r s e l f down n e a r h e r f a t h e r , who grabbed h e r and f o n d l e d h e r v e r y t e n d e r l y and s l a p p e d h e r on t h e b e h i n d a number o f t i m e s ; t h i s went on f o r maybe t e n m i n u t e s . They b o t h seemed t o be e n j o y i n g t h e m s e l v e s . T h i s i s t h e most d e m o n s t r a t i v e I have seen him, b u t i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t she has t o p r o v o k e him. He i s v e r y p h l e g m a t i c and has t o be p r o v o k e d t o be a t t e n t i v e t o Norma, but when she does, he seems t o e n j o y i t up t o a p o i n t . F o r example, t o d a y w h i l e Norma and I were o u t s i d e c o l l e c t i n g bugs, he went t o s l e e p . When we came i n , Mrs. W i l s o n , h a v i n g d e c i d e d we ought t o go t o t h e p a r k , t r i e d t o wake him up, but i t was Norma who was more a g g r e s s i v e . I t made him grumpy, and he t o l d h e r , r a t h e r s h a r p l y , t o s t o p . She t h e n went i n t o t h e bathroom and came back w i t h a wet r a g . She was g o i n g t o p u t i t 72 on h i s f a c e , but he grabbed h e r f i r m l y b u t t e n d e r l y ; she f e l l on t h e f l o o r and he put t h e r a g on h e r . She e n j o y e d t h i s immensely, l a u g h i n g u p r o a r i o u s l y , and t h e y b o t h went on t h i s way f o r a c o u p l e o f m i n u t e s . I n t h e p a r k Norma was c o m p l e t e l y d i v o r c e d from h e r f a t h e r d u r i n g the whole a f t e r n o o n , s p e n d i n g the t i m e e i t h e r w i t h h e r mother o r on the s w i n g s . . . . ( F o u r t h Day.) When Mr. W i l s o n came home t h i s e v e n i n g Norma was i n t h e b a c k y a r d and d i d not go t o g r e e t him. L a t e r , when I was p l a y i n g b a l l w i t h h e r and he came i n t o t h e y a r d w i t h h i s newspaper and a g l a s s o f b e e r , she d i d n o t go t o him, n o r he t o h e r . . . . Mr. W i l s o n was s i t t i n g i n t h e y a r d , f a c i n g Norma and me, h o l d i n g h i s g l a s s o f b e e r , w i t h h i s newspaper t o h i s f a c e . There he remained u n t i l d i n n e r was announced, e x c e p t t h a t a t one p o i n t , when Norma was becoming v e r y e x c i t e d , he c a l l e d , "Norma!" as i f t o t e l l h e r t o calm down, but she k e p t r i g h t on.... A f t e r d i n n e r Mr. W i l s o n , as u s u a l , went i n t o t h e l i v i n g room, s a t down i n h i s u s u a l p l a c e on t h e s o f a , t u r n e d on TV and began t o r e a d t h e p a p e r (1971: 299-300). Henry d e s c r i b e s h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s : Something has happened t o h e r t h a t makes i t p o s s i b l e f o r h e r t o a c c e p t t h i s l e t h a r g y ; y e t though she has grown p r a c t i c a l l y i n -dependent o f h e r f a t h e r , she does n o t g i v e him up because when she t r e a t s him r i g h t and a c t s i n h e r charming way, she can get a t e n d e r r e s p o n s e out o f him. What t o o k p l a c e when she woke him up and t h r e a t e n e d t o p u t a wet r a g on h i s f a c e i s a good example.... T h i s i s t h e i s s u e , w i t h h e r : t o p i c k t h e s t r a t e g i c moment and t h e r i g h t t a c t i c when h i s r e a d y i r r i t a t i o n can be t r a n s -muted i n t o l o v e . Somewhere - o r r a t h e r , a t some t i m e - she l e a r n e d how t o do i t , n o t by d i s t o r t i n g h e r s e l f o r h e r s e x . . . . but by b e i n g t r u l y f e m a l e . . . . ...When she c o l l e c t s bugs, he goes t o s l e e p ; when she i s h a v i n g f u n i n the p a r k , he t a l k s t o me; when she p l a y s , he re a d s t h e p a p e r or watches TV (1971: 301, 302, 3 0 3 ) . I n r e v i e w i n g Henry's a c c o u n t one might v e r y w e l l q u e s t i o n i f we would have seen t h i s as remote f a t h e r i n g had Henry n o t i n s t r u c t e d us t o do so. Take t h i s example, f o r i n s t a n c e : "He r a i s e s h e r o f f t h e f l o o r , t r y i n g , i n a k i n d l y way, t o get h e r . t o go t o bed. I f e l t he was k e e p i n g t h e k i d at a d i s t a n c e " (1971: 2 9 9 ) . On the one hand he t e l l s us t h a t t h e f a t h e r was k i n d l y t o t h e c h i l d -- on t h e o t h e r hand he g i v e s us h i s i m p r e s s i o n s t h a t he was k e e p i n g h e r a t a d i s t a n c e . He does n o t e x p l a i n t o t h e r e a d e r 73 how he moves from o b s e r v a t i o n s t o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . He l a t e r t e l l s us t h a t on t h e second day o f o b s e r v i n g t h i s f a m i l y , f a t h e r and c h i l d p l a y e d f o r about t e n m i n u t e s , t h e f a t h e r g r a b b i n g h e r and f o n d l i n g h e r t e n d e r l y . However, i t seems he m i n i m i z e s the i m p o r t a n c e o f t h i s by i n f o r m i n g us t h a t t h e c h i l d had t o p r o v o k e i t . Henry's s t u d y i n v i t e s c r i t i c i s m t h a t i t l a c k s r i g o u r , as he p r o v i d e s us w i t h h i s i m p r e s s i o n s o f 'what i s g o i n g on', w i t h o u t making v i s i b l e t o t h e r e a d e r t h e b a c k g r o u n d e x p e c t a n c i e s i n r e p o r t i n g upon scenes e n c o u n t e r e d by him. These comments by C i c o u r e l seem a p p r o p r i a t e t o Henry's work: There i s no c o n c e p t u a l d i s t i n c t i o n g i v e n between t h e a c t o r ' s p o i n t o f v i e w , h i s v o c a b u l a r y , how he a s s i g n s meaning t o h i s e n v i r o n m e n t , and t h e o b s e r v e r ' s p r o c e d u r a l r u l e s f o r a c c o m p l i s h -i n g h i s r e s e a r c h and a n a l y s i s o f t h e s e m a t t e r s . . . . A p r o b l e m f o r p r o p o n e n t s o f t h i s v i e w p o i n t , t h e r e f o r e , i s how t o make t h e i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t i s a v a i l a b l e t o t h e r e s e a r c h e r a c c e s s i b l e t o the r e a d e r so t h a t we have some way o f d i s e n t a n g l -i n g t h e a c t o r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e and o b s e r v e r ' s p o i n t o f v i e w from an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h a t appears t o f u s e them b o t h . The e n v i r o n -ments o f b o t h t h e a c t o r and t h e o b s e r v e r are d e s c r i b e d i n terms wh i c h assume b o t h are o b v i o u s t o t h e r e a d e r , and t h a t b o t h make sense o f t h e i r s o c i a l w o r l d s i n t h e same way (1976: 12, 1 3 ) . I t c o u l d be argued t h a t t h e s e o b s e r v a t i o n s l e n d t h e m s e l v e s t o o t h e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , and i t i s n o t i n e v i t a b l e t h a t we come t o see them as 'remote f a t h e r i n g ' . C o u l d t h e y be seen as i n t e r a c t i o n s t h a t may o c c u r i n any f a m i l y ? One q u e s t i o n s how Henry would have i n t e r p r e t e d t h e s e same i n t e r a c t i o n s i f he had s u b s c r i b e d t o a b i o c h e m i c a l t h e o r y o f a u t i s m , or i f t h i s f a m i l y had n o t p r o d u c e d a c h i l d d i a g n o s e d a u t i s t i c , b u t was i n -s t e a d t a k e n t o be an ' o r d i n a r y ' f a m i l y . I n o b s e r v a t i o n s o f f a m i l y l i f e one might not see i t as e x t r a o r d i n a r y when a c h i l d has t o p r o v o k e r e s p o n s e s from a p a r e n t , o r when a p a r e n t watches t e l e v i s i o n o r r e a d s t h e newspaper when th e c h i l d i s p l a y i n g . Here a r e some d a t a o b t a i n e d by me from a f a m i l y . How can we make sense of.them? 74 2.5 From f i e l d n o t e d o b s e r v a t i o n s o f F a m i l y X on t h e f i r s t v i s i t . J i m ( f a t h e r ) was q u i t e e n g r o s s e d i n h i s TV program. D i n n e r c o i n c i d e d w i t h t h e TV program, and he was l a t e coming t o the t a b l e , and r u s h e d away i n a h u r r y t o see t h e end o f t h e program. June ( w i f e ) was q u i t e accommo-d a t i n g . She d i d n ' t seem p e r t u r b e d by J i m n o t coming t o the t a b l e . ( L a t e r i n t h e f i e l d n o t e s ) J i m h e l p e d o u t . Ground up the baby's f o o d b u t r e f u s e d t o f e e d h e r . Went o f f t o r e a d a book w h i l e June f e d h e r . We ( w i f e and I) were i n t h e k i t c h e n f o r a l l o f t h e a f t e r n o o n . The c h i l d r e n were g o i n g back and f o r t h between l i v i n g room, t h e i r room, b u t were m o s t l y i n t h e k i t c h e n w i t h u s . J i m was d o i n g d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s - - f i x i n g washer, w a l k i n g dog, r e a d i n g , w a t c h i n g t e l e v i s i o n , and would drop i n o c c a s i o n a l l y . [Husband was w a t c h i n g TV. Wife c a l l e d him i n t o k i t c h e n t o c a r v e t h e r o a s t ] Husband: [ t o o n e - y e a r - o l d ] Aye, g et out o f t h e r e . Where i s t h e f o r k ? Why c a n ' t I n e v e r f i n d a n y t h i n g i n t h i s p l a c e ? Wife: I don't know. Husband: The b i g f o r k , W i f e : Mm he r e i t i s . I've t o c l e a n out t h a t drawer. Husband: Where i s t h e meat? [ s h a r p e n i n g k n i f e ] H u r r y up. i s on. The movie [ L a t e r : Husband c a r v i n g meat] Husband: Oh d e a r . W i f e : Husband: [ L a t e r : W i f e : Oh Suzy [ o n e - y e a r - o l d ] l o o k a t you. She i s j u s t t r y i n g t o c l e a n d r i p p i n g s from r o a s t ] . i t up dear [ c h i l d g e t t i n g i n t o Husband had c a r v e d meat and r e t u r n e d t o TV pr o g r a m ] . [ t a l k i n g t o Suzy] A r e n ' t you a l o v e l y t h i n g ? I b e t t e r t u r n t h a t o f f . There i s no way. C l e a n up one mess a t a tim e aye? What, you d i d n ' t l i k e t h a t ? Got i t a l l o v e r y o u r f i n g e r s . I s n ' t i t l o v e l y [ t u r n i n g t o me]. I t ' s a b i g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o l e a v e them w i t h someone e l s e . You don't want t o m i s s ; you want t o be the f i r s t one t o h e a r them say mommy. They're l o t s o f f u n . I don't r e g r e t s t a y i n g home w i t h them. I l o v e i t . Mind yo u , sometimes I t h i n k I would l i k e a p a r t - t i m e j o b , j u s t t o get away f o r a w h i l e you know. I n the e v e n i n g s , o r some t h i n g . I c o u l d n e v e r l e a v e them. [ p i c k i n g up Suzy] [To Suzy] You poohed y o u r p a n t s t o o . Oh, you're a mo n s t e r , ha ha ha. She's a t o t a l wreck. Look a t y o u r d i r t y e a r s . You l o o k l i k e nobody l o o k s a f t e r you. Daddy i s w a t c h i n g . . . Mommy s h o u l d have t h o u g h t o f t h a t . S h o u l d n ' t she aye? D i d n ' t 75 [ L a t e r ] W i f e : [ L a t e r : Husband: W i f e : Husband: W i f e : Husband: W i f e : Husband: Wi f e : Husband: W i f e : Husband: W i f e : Husband: W i f e : p l a n s upper around ... t o n i g h t . Mommy i s n o t g o i n g t o be v e r y p o p u l a r . I'm g o i n g t o change you [ l e a v e s k i t c h e n ] . Hope he i s g o i n g t o come out and have supper w i t h us i n s t e a d o f w a t c h i n g TV. We have a l a z y day on Sundays. I don't know what you guys are l i k e [ r e f e r r i n g t o r e s e a r c h e r ' s f a m i l y ] . Don't do v e r y much o f a n y t h i n g on Sundays. J u s t l a y around and e n j o y o u r s e l v e s . Sometimes we have c o u s i n s t h a t l i v e i n (?) and we p l a n a day t o g e t h e r . Go t o t h e zoo w i t h t h e c h i l d r e n . I t ' s more o f a c h i l d r e n ' s day t h a n a n y t h i n g e l s e . Sundays. Husband comes i n ] [ t o Suzy] What a r e you d o i n g ? Is t h e movie o v e r ? Mm. No. You always do t h i s t o me on Sundays. I know. I c a n ' t seem t o h i t i t r i g h t . But t h a t movie i s f i n i s h e d on Sunday a t some u n g o d l y hour a t seven. That one i s o v e r a t s e v e n - t h i r t y . L o u i s e [ t h r e e - y e a r - o l d ] went t o s l e e p . She d i d ? You t h i n k we s h o u l d wake h e r up? We might as w e l l l e a v e h e r (?) can e a t h e r supper l a t e . [Leaves room. R e t u r n s t o TV p r o g r a m ] . B r e a k f a s t i s h e r b e s t meal o f t h e day. She e a t s t h r e e bowls o f c e r e a l , o r wha t e v e r . She e a t s a q u a n t i t y o f t h r e e bowls o f c e r e a l . Sometimes she has bacon and eggs. She t e l l s you e x a c t l y what she wants. [Shouts t o J i m ] You r e a d y t o e a t now Jim? I t ' s o v e r i n h a l f - a n - h o u r . We'11 be q u i c k . Be q u i c k , ha h a ha. I'd j u s t be f i n i s h e d when t h e movie i s o v e r . W e l l , as you s a i d , supper i s j u s t n o t g o i n g t o make i t t h a t l o n g . Next Sunday, I ' l l t i m e i t . [few m inutes l a t e r ] 76 W i f e : W i f e : James, we're n o t g o i n g t o w a i t f o r you. I t o l d him. We n o r m a l l y e a t t o g e t h e r . Sundays i s a n o t h e r t h i n g . I have t o p l a n my day around; He's a TV a d d i c t . I don't know why I cook a b i g meal on Sundays because t h a t ' s t h e day he's always w a t c h i n g t h e program. Not t o w o r r y . We a r e n o t t o w o r r y . Seems r a t h e r f o o l i s h , d o e s n ' t i t ? P r o b a b l y I s h o u l d cook i t on S a t u r d a y . Here he i s [ J i m comes i n ] . W i f e : always w i n s . I don't see how y o u ' r e so i n t e r e s t e d i n t h a t show. Husband: I t ' s how he wins [ t a l k s about m o v i e ] . W i f e : I t c a n ' t be the same t h i n g e v e r y week now you know. Husband: No, t h a t ' s f o r s u r e . [Food i s b e i n g p a s s e d around. Husband and I a r e s i t t i n g . W i f e i s s t i l l up] Husband: [ t o me] Go ahead. Don't w a i t f o r u s . [ L o u i s e comes i n t o k i t c h e n ] . W i f e : Goodness g r a c i o u s ! [ t o o n e - y e a r - o l d ] W i l l you s i t down? Husband W i f e : [ t o L o u i s e ] J u s t i n time f o r supper. I t h o u g h t you weren't g o i n g t o make i t . I t h o u g h t you were g o i n g t o miss y o u r s u p p e r t o n i g h t . You d i d n ' t . Good t h i n k i n g aye? R e s e a r c h e r : H i t h e r e , had a good s l e e p ? [ L o u i s e yawns] W i f e : Good g r a c i o u s ! Looks as i f you s h o u l d have k e p t on w i t h i t . [ L o u i s e s i t s down, mother s t a r t s t o s e r v e h e r ] . W i f e : Now, how much p o t a t o do you want? (?) L o u i s e : Yes. W i f e : T h i s much o r more? L o u i s e : Yes. W i f e : You l i k e p o t a t o ? You want b u t t e r o r g r a v y on y o u r p o t a t o e s ? L o u i s e : No. W i f e : L o u i s e : No, n o t h i n g ? You want some o f t h i s on y o u r p o t a t o e s ? B u t t e r ? Yes . 77 W i f e : Yes p l e a s e . L o u i s e : Yes p l e a s e . W i f e : [ s i t t i n g down t o d i n n e r ] You f e l l a s l e e p when you went i n y o u r room aye? L o u i s e : Yes. W i f e : Mm. L o u i s e : My f o r k . W i f e : You want .some o f t h i s ? L o u i s e : Yes. W i f e : Yes p l e a s e . L o u i s e : I l i k e t h a t . W i f e : What i s i t ? L o u i s e : I don't what i s . W i f e : You don't know what i t i s ? L o u i s e : I know what i s . L o u i s e : (?) and um. [Suzy c r y i n g ] W i f e : You don't know t h e name o f i t ? L o u i s e : Yep. My f i e l d n o t e s : A f t e r t h e main c o u r s e , J i m went back t o watch t h e end o f t h e program. He was q u i t e s i l e n t o v e r d i n n e r , and seemed t o be i n a h u r r y . Other f a m i l y members d i d n o t seem p e r t u r b e d . What i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , i f any, can we make o f t h e s e u t t e r a n c e s ? I s i t p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e f a m i l y Henry o b s e r v e d c o u l d have p r o d u c e d t h e same u t t e r a n c e s ? I f we were i n s t r u c t e d t o see t h e s e d a t a as 'remote f a t h e r i n g ' , would i t have been p o s s i b l e t o see the f a t h e r as u n a v a i l a b l e ? L e t us suppose t h a t t h e f a m i l y I v i s i t e d had an a u t i s t i c c h i l d i n t h e h o s p i t a l , and t h a t t h e f a m i l y Henry v i s i t e d d i d n o t have such a c h i l d . L e t us f u r t h e r suppose t h a t Henry and I had t r a d e d p l a c e s . Would he have seen t h e f a m i l y 78 t a l k h e r e as e v i d e n c e o f remote f a t h e r i n g , and would he have used i t t o b o l s t e r h i s arguments about t h e g e n e s i s o f ' i n f a n t i l e a u t i s m ' ? And c o u l d I have seen t h e f a m i l y p r e s e n t e d t o us i n h i s book as 'normal f a m i l y ' ? I f we wanted t o see the t r a n s c r i p t m a t e r i a l p r e s e n t e d h e r e as 'remote f a t h e r i n g ' i t would have been p o s s i b l e f o r us t o say t h a t t h e t e l e v i s i o n program t h e f a t h e r was w a t c h i n g t o o k p r e c e d e n c e o v e r i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h h i s f a m i l y , and t h a t when he came i n t o d i n n e r he was i n a t t e n t i v e t o f a m i l y members. But t h e n , the v i s i t s t o t h e f a m i l y were not made i n an attempt t o s t u d y f a m i l i e s who had e m o t i o n a l p r o b l e m s . T h i s f a m i l y was supposed t o be an o r d i n a r y , 'normal' f a m i l y , and p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e s t u d y because f a m i l y members saw t h e m s e l v e s as managing t h e i r l i v e s com-p e t e n t l y . The d a t a were t h e r e f o r e n o t seen as i n d i c a t i v e o f what goes on i n ' t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s ' . In r e v i e w i n g t h e n o t e s made a t t h e t i m e o f t h e v i s i t s , you w i l l n o t i c e t h a t I ' n o r m a l i z e d ' t h e o c c a s i o n : "June was q u i t e accommodating. She d i d n ' t seem p e r t u r b e d by J i m n o t coming t o t h e t a b l e . J i m h e l p e d o u t . Ground up t h e baby's f o o d , but r e f u s e d t o f e e d h e r . Went o f f t o r e a d a book w h i l e June f e d h e r . " However, i f one were i n t e n t on p r e s e n t i n g t h i s f a m i l y as ' d i s t u r b e d ' , one c o u l d p e r h a p s p o i n t t o t h e mother's s t a t e m e n t t h a t Sundays are more o f a c h i l d r e n ' s day, whereas the husband was s a y i n g , "You always do t h i s t o me on Sundays." C o u l d we h e a r t h i s as s a y i n g t h a t Sundays were t h e day when t h e husband watched t e l e v i s i o n , and t h a t the mother's c l a i m t h a t i t was a c h i l d r e n ' s day d i d not r e f l e c t t h e s t a t e o f a f f a i r s i n the f a m i l y ? These i n t e r a c t i o n s were seen by me at t h e ti m e o f t h e i r o c c u r r e n c e as n e i t h e r e x t r a o r d i n a r y n o r a s i g n o f f a m i l y p a t h o l o g y , because I was u s i n g t h e 'normal f a m i l y i n t r e p r e t i v e schema' t o make sense o f them. However, by i n v o k i n g t h e ' p s y c h i a t r i c i n t e r p r e t i v e schema', i t would have been 79 p o s s i b l e t o see t h e s e same i n t e r a c t i o n s as 'what goes on i n t r o u b l e d f a m i l i e s ' . The n o t i o n s o f a v a i l a b i l i t y and u n a v a i l a b i l i t y may be u s e f u l i n h e l p -i n g us t o i n t e r p r e t f a m i l y i n t e r a c t i o n s , b u t t h e p r o b l e m f o r us i s t o know what c o u n t s as a v a i l a b i l i t y o r u n a v a i l a b i l i t y . How we come t o know t h e s e may depend upon whether we a r e s e e i n g t h e f a m i l y as d i s t u r b e d o r n o r m a l . I n t a k i n g t h i s argument f u r t h e r , I p r e s e n t a n o t h e r f a m i l y s i t u a -t i o n . 2.6 F i e l d n o t e s and T r a n s c r i p t m a t e r i a l s : T h i r d v i s i t t o one f a m i l y . A f t e r t h e c h i l d went t o bed, t h e husband, w i f e and I c o n t i n u e d t o t a l k . Husband: I s t i l l don't t h i n k y o u ' r e g e t t i n g a n a t u r a l p i c t u r e because p r o b a b l y , ah, when you come out t h e p a r e n t s t e n d t o p u t more emphasis on b e i n g w i t h t h e k i d s t h a n i f you w e r e n ' t / R e s e a r c h e r : Ya, y a . Husband: I don't t h i n k you'd f i n d l i k e s ay i f you had w a l k e d i n as a gh o s t f i g u r e so t h e y c o u l d n ' t s e e , t h e y ' d be i n t e r a c t i n g as much. F i e l d n o t e s : L a t e r i n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n we r e t u r n e d t o t h e above t o p i c . U n f o r t u n a t e l y t h e t a p e had r u n out by t h e n , b u t he p o i n t e d out t h a t what I had seen i n t h e t h r e e v i s i t s i n terms o f i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h t h e c h i l d , d i d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y mean t h a t t h i s happened e v e r y day. Some days t h e p a r e n t s were b o t h t i r e d , and t o l d t h e c h i l d t o p l a y by h e r s e l f . O t h e r t i m e s , when she i n t e r r u p t e d t h e i r c o n v e r s a t i o n -- f o r example, i f he had some t h i n g t o t e l l h i s w i f e -- he d i d n o t p e r m i t h e r t o i n t e r r u p t . The husband seemed q u i t e w i l l i n g t o t e l l me t h a t t h i n g s weren't always as I had been s e e i n g them, and once I acknowledged t h a t I wasn't s u r p r i s e d -- I had n o t e x p e c t e d a f a t h e r t o s i t a l l e v e n i n g p l a y i n g w i t h h i s c h i l d -- he t a l k e d f r e e l y about how t h i n g s g e n e r a l l y were around t h e house. They d i d not always have enough t i m e t o p l a y w i t h t h e c h i l d . They b o t h worked, and were o f t e n t i r e d . He a l s o p o i n t e d out t h a t an a d u l t ' s i n t e r e s t i n b u i l d -i n g b l o c k s can o n l y l a s t f o r a l i m i t e d p e r i o d ; one can o n l y p l a y w i t h a c h i l d f o r so l o n g , and t h e n one has t o s t o p , o r e l s e , as t h e husband p u t i t , "you'd go bananas". 80 How do we make sense o f t h i s ? On t h e v i s i t s t o t h i s f a m i l y , b o t h p a r e n t s s p e n t t h e i r t i m e p l a y i n g w i t h t h e c h i l d ; when t h e mother was p r e -p a r i n g dinner-, the f a t h e r c o n t i n u e d t o p l a y w i t h t h e c h i l d . Y e t , towards th e end o f t h e t h i r d v i s i t , he i n f o r m e d me t h a t what I had seen d i d n o t g e n e r a l l y happen, and p r o c e e d e d t o t e l l me t h a t sometimes t h e y were t o o t i r e d t o p l a y w i t h t h e c h i l d . S h o u l d I t h e n h e a r t h i s as 'remote f a t h e r -i n g ' , and c o n c l u d e t h a t what I had seen b e f o r e was n o t a ' t r u e p i c t u r e ' o f f a m i l y l i f e ? Or, c o u l d I say t h a t t h e p a r e n t s were c o n s t r u c t i n g f o r me t h e i r v e r s i o n o f 'good p a r e n t i n g ' o r i d e a l p a r e n t i n g , and t h a t i n f a c t i t was no s u p r i s e t h a t t h e y d i d n o t u s u a l l y behave i n h i s manner? The f a t h e r ' s a c c o u n t sounded r e a s o n a b l e t o me, and I h e a r d i t as what c o u l d go on i n any o r d i n a r y f a m i l y . At what p o i n t do we d e c i d e t h a t what we a r e h e a r i n g i s 'remote f a t h e r i n g ' ? I f t h i s f a m i l y had been p r e s e n t e d as a d i s t u r b e d f a m i l y , c o u l d we have s a i d t h a t t h e y were ' p u t t i n g on a show f o r t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' and c o u l d t h i s have been h e a r d as a d i s p a r a g i n g remark? C o u l d we a l s o have s a i d t h a t t h e f a t h e r was f i n a l l y w i l l i n g t o t a l k about 'the problem'? We see t h a t we c a n n o t , w i t h any degree o f c e r t a i n t y , s t a t e what i s ' a v a i l a b l e ' o r ' u n a v a i l a b l e ' f a t h e r i n g . How we l o c a t e t h e s e phenomena depends upon t h e i n t e r p r e t i v e schema we use t o make sense o f a c t i v i t i e s and o c c a s i o n s . H a v i n g d i s c u s s e d what Henry has t o say about t h e 'Remote F a t h e r ' , I s h a l l now d i s c u s s a n o t h e r t o p i c w h i c h came t o be o f i n t e r e s t t o me d u r i n g the c o u r s e o f my f i e l d w o r k , and s u b s e q u e n t l y l e d me t o l o o k a t how p s y c h i a t r y v i e w s t h e t o p i c -- what I came t o see as humor i n f a m i l y l i f e . I w i l l examine how some t h e o r i s t s make sense o f humor. 81 I n t e r p r e t i n g Humor i n F a m i l y L i f e P a r a d and C a p l a n (1965) o u t l i n e a t h e o r e t i c a l framework o f f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g i n i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o m e n t a l h e a l t h . They f o c u s on t h e " mental h e a l t h i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e mechanisms t h a t f a m i l i e s c h a r a c t e r i s t i -c a l l y use t o s o l v e t h e problems o f a c r i s i s s i t u a t i o n " (1965: 5 4 ) , and d e m o n s t r a t e t h e use o f t h e i r framework t h r o u g h a case a n a l y s i s o f a f a m i l y e x p e r i e n c i n g a c r i s i s . They d i s c u s s t h e l i f e s t y l e o f t h e f a m i l y " i n t h e l i g h t o f t h r e e i n t e r r e l a t e d f a c t o r s - v a l u e s , r o l e s , and c o m m u n i c a t i o n " (1965: 62) . I n t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n o f v a l u e s t h e y s a y : The t i m e o r i e n t a t i o n o f t h e f a m i l y emphasizes t h e p r e s e n t : " L e t t h e f u t u r e t a k e c a r e o f i t s e l f - e s p e c i a l l y i n t i m e o f t r o u b l e . " T h i s a s p e c t o f f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e f a v o u r s t h e use o f group d e n i a l mechanisms i n d e a l i n g w i t h f u t u r e e v e n t s l i k e l y t o i m p l y p r e s e n t p a i n , t h u s c o n t r o l l i n g t h e l e a k a g e o f a n x i e t y i n t h e f a m i l y s o c i a l s y s t e m . . . . Humor i s an i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f the f a m i l y ' s c u l t u r e . T e a s i n g , j o k i n g , and g o o d - n a t u r e d r i d i c u l e a r e g e n e r a l l y used i n a p r e -d i c t a b l e manner f o r masking c e r t a i n k i n d s o f d i r e c t e m o t i o n a l e x p r e s s i o n w h i c h t h e f a m i l y would f i n d t h r e a t e n i n g and t h e r e -f o r e shuns. F e e l i n g s c a l l i n g f o r t h t h e s e d e f e n s i v e maneuvers f o r w h i c h f r e e e m o t i o n a l o u t l e t s a r e u n a v a i l a b l e i n c l u d e : (1) a n x i e t y , (2) dependence, and (3) deeper l e v e l s o f a g g r e s s i o n (1965: 6 2 - 6 3 ) . I t a k e i t t h a t P a r a d and C a p l a n , i n g i v i n g us a t h e o r y o f humor, a r e t e l l i n g us t o see i t as r e l a t e d t o ' d e f e n s i v e maneuvers' a s s o c i a t e d w i t h f a m i l i e s i n ' c r i s i s ' . B u t , i t i s h a r d f o r us t o see how humor t a k e s on s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n ' c r i s i s s i t u a t i o n s ' , because i n e v e r y d a y l i f e we can make sense o f humor as a 'cover up'. We c o u l d ask why humor would w a r r a n t s p e c i a l m e n t i o n i n c o n s t r u c t i n g a c c o u n t s about what goes on i n f a m i l i e s i n c r i s i s . I t seems t h a t t h e commonsense t h e o r i e s we have o f humor a r e used as a r e s o u r c e f o r making sense o f what goes on i n f a m i l i e s w i t h t r o u b l e s . A l t h o u g h we might a c c e p t i t as n ormal t h a t 'humor i s used as a coverup' i n e v e r y d a y l i f e , when d i s p l a y e d w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f ' f a m i l i e s w i t h t r o u b l e s ' , what would o r d i n a r i l y be c o n s i d e r e d 82 as n o t w o r t h y o f a t t e n t i o n t a k e s on s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e and i s used t o e x p l a i n and account f o r t r o u b l e s . The a u t h o r s have n o t g i v e n us a c c e s s t o t h e d i s c o u r s e upon w h i c h t h e i r c o n c l u s i o n s a r e b ased. They have n o t made v i s i b l e t o us how t h e y t r a n s f o r m e d t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n s i n t o a c t u a l a c c o u n t s about f a m i l y l i f e . We have no way o f knowing who t o l d t h e j o k e s , what t h e j o k e s were a b o u t , o r how f a m i l y members responded t o one a n o t h e r ' s j o k e s . In d i r e c t i n g a t t e n -t i o n t o t h e gaps i n t h e d a t a p r e s e n t e d t o t h e r e a d e r , i t i s n o t my i n t e n t i o n t o q u e s t i o n whether o r n o t . t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s are ' c o r r e c t ' . The p o i n t a t i s s u e h e r e i s t h a t we must t a k e t h e a u t h o r s ' words as an account o f 'what was g o i n g on i n t h e f a m i l y ' , w i t h o u t knowing how t h e y came t o see j o k e s as masking c e r t a i n k i n d s o f d i r e c t e m o t i o n a l e x p r e s s i o n . We c o u l d say t h a t t h e y p r e s e n t us w i t h no more t h a n i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c a c c o u n t s o f f a m i l y b e h a v i o r s . I s i t p o s s i b l e t o o f f e r o t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r t h e use o f humor i n f a m i l i e s ? In my o b s e r v a t i o n s o f f a m i l y i n t e r a c t i o n s , o t h e r i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n s seemed p l a u s i b l e , e s p e c i a l l y when one examines c h i l d r e n ' s j o k e s . I came t o see t h a t one cannot t a l k about j o k e s i n some g e n e r a l way -- who t e l l s t h e j o k e s , and t h e i r sequence i n c o n v e r s a t i o n become r e l e v a n t i n making d e c i s i o n s about j o k i n g . By a t t e n d i n g t o t h e d e t a i l s o f d i s c o u r s e , I came t o r e c o g n i z e t h e t e l l i n g o f j o k e s as one s t r a t e g y t h e c h i l d uses t o e n t e r a d u l t t a l k . I s h a l l p r e s e n t some t r a n s c r i p t m a t e r i a l so t h a t we can see how such i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s become p o s s i b l e . L e t us b e a r i n mind t h a t c h i l d r e n ' s j o k e s c o u l d be v i e w e d i n a v a r i e t y o f ways --we c o u l d see them as c u t e , o r as a n u i s a n c e , and as a d i s r u p t i o n t o a d u l t t a l k , and so on. How we see them depends on t h e schema t h r o u g h which e v e n t s are i n t e r p r e t e d . That p s y c h i a t r y comes t o see j o k e s as a mask f o r d i r e c t 83 e m o t i o n a l " e x p r e s s i o n no doubt a c c r u e s from t h e f a c t t h a t i n d o i n g p s y c h i a t r y , t h e b e h a v i o r o f t h e p a t i e n t t a k e s on p s y c h i a t r i c r e l e v a n c e . Whereas, I came t o see j o k e s by c h i l d r e n as a d e v i c e f o r e n t e r i n g a d u l t t a l k because I was i n t e r e s t e d i n how c h i l d r e n and a d u l t s managed t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h one a n o t h e r i n 'normal f a m i l i e s ' . I was i n v o k i n g some t h e o r y about c h i l d r e n ' s c u l t u r e s ^ and t h e a d u l t - c h i l d i n t e r a c t i o n t o i n t e r p r e t what was g o i n g on. In my i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h c h i l d r e n and a d u l t s i n t h e f i e l d w o r k s i t u a -t i o n , I n o t i c e d t h a t when c h i l d r e n a re p r e s e n t around a d u l t t a l k t h e t o p i c s are n o t u s u a l l y r e l e v a n t t o t h e c h i l d ' s w o r l d . T h e r e f o r e , t h e c h i l d may n o t be a b l e t o pr o d u c e t a l k w h i c h shows r e s p o n s i v e n e s s t o t h e a d u l t ' s con-v e r s a t i o n . F u r t h e r m o r e , even i f t h e c h i l d were a b l e t o pr o d u c e an u t t e r a n c e w h i c h would f i t t h e p r e c e d i n g t a l k , t h i s might be c o n s t r u e d by p a r e n t s as an i n t e r r u p t i o n . T h i s d e r i v e s n o t o n l y from t h e f a c t t h a t t h e c h i l d i s n o t i n f o r m e d about ' a d u l t t o p i c s ' , but because t h e c h i l d i s n o t u s u a l l y 7 v i e w e d as a f u l l - f l e d g e d p a r t i c i p a n t i n a d u l t c o n v e r s a t i o n s . I t s t a n d s t o r e a s o n t h e n , t h a t t h e c h i l d must d e v i s e ways o f e n t e r -i n g a d u l t c o n v e r s a t i o n s , and must manage t h i s i n such a way t h a t t h e con-t r i b u t i o n i s n o t t r e a t e d as an i n t e r r u p t i o n by the a d u l t , because i n t e r r u p -t i o n s may n o t e a r n t h e c h i l d t h e r i g h t t o c o n t i n u e t a l k . I t would seem t h a t one d e v i c e a v a i l a b l e t o t h e c h i l d f o r ' g e t t i n g i n t o ' t h e c o n v e r s a -t i o n i s the t e l l i n g o f a j o k e , and t h a t t h e r e a re a t l e a s t two r e a s o n s why h a v i n g a j o k e t o t e l l p r o m i s e s a s o l u t i o n t o t h e problems f a c e d by the c h i l d . F i r s t , l e t us c o n s i d e r t h e p r o b l e m t h a t t h e c h i l d has i n p r o d u c i n g an u t t e r a n c e t h a t i s t o p i c a l l y r e l e v a n t t o t h e o n g o i n g t a l k , and how t e l l -i n g a j o k e o f f e r s some s o l u t i o n t o t h i s p r o b l e m . I f t h e c h i l d a t t e m p t s 84 t o f i t an u t t e r a n c e i n t o o ngoing t a l k about t o p i c s w i t h w h i c h he o r she i s u n f a m i l i a r the c h i l d r i s k s b e i n g v i e w e d as i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y i n c o m p e t e n t , as t h e u t t e r a n c e may n o t ' f i t 1 . I f t h e c h i l d w i s h e s t o e n t e r t h e c o n v e r -s a t i o n , i t might be advantageous t o do so w i t h some u t t e r a n c e w h i c h does not have t o f i t i n w i t h what i s b e i n g t a l k e d about. W i t h t h i s p r o b l e m o f t h e c h i l d i n mind, and a p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n , I s h a l l i n t r o d u c e some f e a t u r e s o f j o k e s , as e x p l i c a t e d by S a c k s , w h i c h I t h i n k b e a r i m p o r t upon t h i s d i s c u s s i o n . He p o i n t s out t h a t j o k e s do not have t o be f i t t e d i n t o t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n i n some way t h a t makes what i s i n the j o k e r e l e v a n t t o t h e ong o i n g t a l k . The j o k e does n o t have t o have some b e a r i n g on t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n -- i t can make i t s own p l a c e i n c o n v e r s a -t i o n . There i s n o t some p a r t i c u l a r p l a c e f o r j o k e s . " I f nobody i s t a l k -i n g one can s a y " I g o t t a j o k e " , t e l l t h e j o k e ; i t has no b e a r i n g on t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n so f a r o r t h e r e a f t e r " ( S a c k s , November 12, 1971: 7 ) . I f we a c c e p t S a c k s ' argument t h a t t h e j o k e has t h i s f e a t u r e , t h e n i t seems t h a t h a v i n g a j o k e t o t e l l i s one s t r a t e g y t h a t t h e c h i l d can use t o get around h i s / h e r i n a b i l i t y t o pr o d u c e u t t e r a n c e s r e c o g n i z a b l e as b e i n g r e l e v a n t t o o n g o i n g t a l k . A l t h o u g h t h e c h i l d may be u n a b l e t o r e s p o n d c o h e r e n t l y t o what i s b e i n g t a l k e d a b out, he o r she can s t i l l make a c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the c o n v e r s a t i o n . Y e t , I s h a l l argue t h a t a l t h o u g h t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n may h o l d p r o m i s e , o t h e r f a c t o r s must be t a k e n i n t o a c c o u n t . F i r s t o f a l l , we s h o u l d n o t assume t h a t c h i l d r e n i n t r o d u c e j o k e s i n t o c o n v e r s a t i o n s i n the same way a d u l t s do. They do n o t always w a i t f o r a pause i n c o n v e r s a t i o n w h i c h would g i v e them t h e r i g h t t o i n t r o -duce t h e j o k e , b u t may b u t t i n t o an u t t e r a n c e b e f o r e t h e pause o c c u r s . Under such c i r c u m s t a n c e s , t h e j o k e c o u l d v e r y w e l l c o n s t i t u t e an i n t e r -r u p t i o n . The o v e r - r i d i n g q u e s t i o n becomes, i s t h e r e some e x p l a n a t i o n 85 f o r t h e f a c t t h a t p a r e n t s seem t o show t h e p r e f e r e n c e t o p e r m i t t h e t e l l i n g o f j o k e s , even when t h e y o c c u r as i n t e r r u p t i o n s , and do n o t seem t o t r e a t them i n t h e same way as t h e y do o t h e r i n t e r r u p t i o n s ?