The Traditional Approach To Classification

To write about nontraditional ways of classifying persons whose conduct fails to meet contemporary standards of propriety requires that we first lay out the boundaries of traditional classification systems the better to show contrasting features. We take as the prime exemplar of traditional classification systems the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, with the most recent edition (hereinafter referred to as DSM-IV) published in 1994. DSM-IV provides a detailed nosology, a critical analysis of which opens the door to an understanding of the un derlying worldview that guides the practice of classifying deviant conduct. The claimed purpose of the nosology is to provide a means of establishing reliable diagnoses. [See DSM-IV.]

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