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George Brown (sociologist)

George Brown (sociologist)

George William Brown OBE (born 1930) is a medical sociologist who works in the field of social nature of mental illness.

Life and work

Brown was born in Portobello, London, in 1930, as one of non-identical twins. His father was a lens maker and his mother had been a waitress. He left school at 16 and initially moved between a number of jobs, including work in the Post Office. In 1948, he was called up for national service – in the Air Force. He then went to University College London in 1951 studying archaeology and anthropology. After a series of jobs he obtained a research post at the Social Psychiatry Research Unit at the Maudsley Hospital, London. It was here that he began his research into schizophrenia.[1]

In the second half of the 1950s, Brown introduced the Expressed-Emotion-Concept, which since then has been broadly being adopted among researchers and practitioners in the fields of social psychiatry or psychiatry and therapy in general.[2]

In 1968 he moved to the Social Research Unit at Bedford College, London, where he became first Deputy Director, then joint Director. It was here that he developed his research into the social aspects of depression. He also developed with Margot Jefferys a very influential MSc in Medical Sociology.[3]


  • Wing, J.K., & Brown, G.W. (1970). Institutionalism and Schizophrenia: A Comparative Study of Three Mental Hospitals 1960-1968. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press.
  • Brown, G.W., & Harris, T. (1978). Social origins of depression: A study of psychiatric disorder in women. London:Tavistock.



  1. "Professor George Brown". Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  2. Amaresha, Anekal C.; Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan (2012). "Expressed Emotion in Schizophrenia: An Overview". Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. 34 (1): 12–20. doi:10.4103/0253-7176.96149. PMC 3361836. PMID 22661801.
  3. Scambler, Graham (2005). Medical Sociology: The Nature of Medical Sociology. ISBN 0-415-31780-0.
  4. "Professor George Brown". Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  5. The Gazette
  6. "Honorary Graduates". Retrieved 3 December 2016.

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