Social relationshipsA significant difficulty in looking at the literature which makes reference to socialconditions is trying to sort out those which are capitalist specific or class specific fromthose which are a part of social life in general.Moreover, it is difficult to sort out those sites where capitalist social relationships havedirect effect on the conditions occurring there, such as work and unemployment, fromwhere they have a mediated effect. That is, where capital does not directly create that site but works through an already existing institution, such as the family, gender relations,‘racial’ relations, and personal relations.In addition to those, there is the problem that capitalism has with the notion of class.Capitalism likes to think that class problems are a thing of the past or is a subjectivematter. Therefore, it is reluctant to fund research which looks at this as a variable. It willaccept an occupational or educational definition of class but it will not accept a Marxiandefinition.Psychiatric research relating to class seems to have gone through three phases:First, from the Victorian period up to the Second World War. Unlike mainstreammedicine which was very much concerned with the environmental and social conditionsof the poor—important public health measures, e.g. sewerage and water, were the focusin trying to improve the physical health of the working class—the focus of psychiatricepidemiology was on the identification of types of mental disease and (because of the brain pathology notion) localising the source of these in the constitution of the person andtheir family inheritance. This was the period of tainted genes and eugenic solutions.Second, from the Second World war to the 1970s. The period of the long boom and of social reconstruction, of making capitalism modern, saw an interest in the socialconditions of the working class. With the rise of the community health movement, thesources of mental health problems were seen to be, at least in part, those of poverty.Eugenics had of course lost all credibility. So, instead of segregating the mentally ill, theissue was to ameliorate social conditions. Studies showed that schizophrenia was morecommon in the poorer communities, as well as depression and anxiety.Third, from the 1970s to the present. With the end of the post-war boom and the crises of the 70s and 80s, the social reformism came to an end. Community care was found to betoo expensive and so cuts were made. Once again identification of problems, rather thansources of problems, became the main issue. With the introduction of new diagnostic practices and pharmacological treatments there was a return to the biological, and therewas a strong bias against showing the effects of social conditions on the origin anddevelopment of the disease. There were exceptions, but that is what they remained. If youwanted large research grants from the biologically dominated institutes you put in a biological proposal.