Year: 1972 Source: American Journal of Sociology, v.77, no.5, (1972), p.821-838 SIEC No: 19831835

Combining theoretical & empirical material, this paper outlines why mistakes & acts which might be regarded as mistakes are an important vehicle for analysing the social organization of professional work. It investigates a major event of potential error in psychiatry- suicide of a patient-as a means of understanding basic beliefs & organizational features of the psychiatric profession. Based on participant observation/interviews, the evidence is also supported by previous studies on the subject.